Drury’s Choice

by Ryan

“I compare it to a kid from Rochester, a kid from Batavia wanting to be a Sabre,” Drury said today. “I’d have no problem explaining that to a Sabres fan at Cobblestone [the bar adjacent to HSBC Arena] or wherever. Since I knew what a Ranger was, I wanted to be one.”

-Chris Drury

Sometimes, you just have to appreciate the thought.

Since the blog’s inception I haven’t hidden my admiration for Chris Drury. I think he is just one of those players anyone would love to have on their team. There is nothing flashy about him, no swagger or toe drag he brings out in warm ups to get the crowd moving. However, come game time there is something about him that brings up the very best of hockey characteristics.

Maybe it is pure talent, maybe it is the uncanny knack to lead, or maybe it is just blind luck. Either way, since the moment Chris Drury left Calgary I have been excited about where this team was going. Over that summer I kept telling people how close this team was. Even through that long, hockey-less winter, I knew the team had the chance to be something special when it came time to lace up the skates again.

Chris Drury was a big part of that, and when hockey started back up on 10/5/05 there wasn’t a doubt in my mind this team was going somewhere. What followed is arguably the most exciting two year span in Sabres history, and some games that I will never forget.

Then summer came.

I’m not going to go into the blame game, and I’m not going to cry over what happened. However, about a week before the UFA market opened I started kicking around an idea in my head. What resulted was a post I called “The Case for Chris Drury.”

Here’s the thing about that post: I still believe every word of it.

I’m never going to be a Rangers fan, but I still like Chris Drury. I never want to see him score a goal against us, and him winning a Stanley Cup with the Rangers may force me to break the nice china, but I still like Chris Drury as a player, and I’m not ashamed to say it at all.

Yeah, he choose another team, but can you really blame him? His logic is the same logic each and every one of us used when playing street hockey so many years ago, or what many of us do when we play videogames today. When you get the chance, you play for the hometown team. Put yourself in that position and tell me you don’t leave {insert small market town} for your Sabres in a heartbeat if that scenario comes up.

Yeah, it may be unfair to us, but what if Tim Connolly uses that same logic when his UFA status comes up next year? He was born in Baldwinsville, just outside of Syracuse. Do you think he wants to pick up and move across country to Phoenix or St. Louis or stay at home playing hockey just down the 90?

It may not be the most logical of arguments, but since when does hockey involve much logic? So many of us take the emotions from the game and translate them to real life. Games affect my entire outlook on the day, or even just my mood for days afterwords. Why can’t players do the same thing?

Chris Drury made a business decision based on an emotional tie to a childhood dream, and when it boils down to it I’m okay with that. It sure as hell isn’t what I wanted, but a player in that position does what is best for him and his family, I can’t help but respect that.

Tomorrow the Chris Drury talk will be insufferable, and will probably continue ad nausem until his return to Buffalo on February 23nd, exactly one year and one day after the Chris Neil incident.

What will happen with the crowd I have no idea. I would like to say I will be a part of that group, but there is too much going through my head at the moment to make a ticket purchase.

I do know, however, that I still have a “Salute to Captains” Parkhurst with Chris Drury’s stoic face on it. It’s sitting proudly next to a few Jim Kelly cards, and an over sized Beehive Drury card I overpaid for a few weeks before UFA day. Those cards aren’t going down anytime soon, and I don’t regret buying either of them.

Chris Drury may not be my captain anymore, but he’s still “my guy.”

One Comment

  1. Dave

    soo ryan when do you wanna buy that drury twig i have, from game one against the isles