"Throughout his career, Chris Drury was always a great competitor, a tremendous leader and teammate, and the heart and soul type of player that every team would love to have. His commitment, determination and will to win were apparent each and every day. Those characteristics will have a lasting impact on all those who were fortunate enough to learn from Chris over his 12 years in the National Hockey League."
Marty Biron tweeted out his thoughts on the Rangers former captain.
Scott Burnside at ESPN.com says this isn't how Drury was supposed to go out.
...lots of debate out there yesterday regarding Drury taking the buyout before retiring. Would love to hear everyone's thoughts.
What did his buyout affect...they got Richards and signed all the home free agents they wanted. Besides, the Rangers didn't show him loyalty by buying him out, what loyalty does he owe them where he would forego millions? At the end of the day this is a business and he simply made the business decision that made the most sense for him and his family. No hard feelings from me and best of luck in the future to a classy guy!
I tend to agree with you Scott and at the end of the day I'm not angry with Drury at all with the buyout. But you have to think he knew how bad his knee was in June and that retirement was an option. Plus if he was this "team guy" everyone likes to throw around the Rangers did have a second buyout period earlier this month that he could have asked to Rangers to wait until to see how his knee was progressing. And sure he has a family to worry about but I think the $7 million per he's made the last four years should be enough to take care of them for awhile. But I'm not bitter. ;)
I have no problem with it. Drury is a stand up kind of guy and to be honest I dont think he WANTED to retire, and may not have intended to when he took the buyout. He was more or less forced into retirement by a few nagging injuries and a lack of teams willing to take a chance on him for reasonable compensation. He has a family to worry about and was under contract; A contract which legally entitled him to that buyout money if his services were no longer required. Make no mistake: What Naslund did was the exception to the rule and should never be the expected course of action.
I harbor no ill will toward Drury whatsoever. He tried, he led, he never lived up to his deal. That money was his by rights and I wish him the best in his future endeavors. I think he would make a great coach if he so desires.
If I understand/remember it correctly, Drury was bought out in the first buyout period (prior to the free-agency deadline), meaning in June. The second buyout period didn't exist for the Rangers until Dubinsky et al. filed for arbitration later in July. Even if such 'asking' that you mention is kosher and happens in the NHL, he couldn't have asked them to wait for a second buyout that was not guaranteed to even exist.
People are essentially demonizing him for wanting even a shot at playing again. And knee injury or not, he still wanted to try and play longer. He had just watched Prospal come back and be successful even when that knee injury/surgery was meant to keep him (Prospal) out all season - why wouldn't Drury think, at least for a time, that the same could be possible for him?
You have to believe that one of the reasons this guy was named captain and named to the Olympic teams, etc., is the fact that he's got the drive, the heart, and the soul of someone who just loves playing hockey. He just wanted to play more hockey. He probably IS financially fine, buyout or not. Money may have had zero to do with it. Both Drury and the Rangers were victims of circumstance (and the CBA) - if he wanted to play again, which I believe he did, it mean that he'd have to force the Rangers to take a financial hit. It is what it is. Not for one second did I believe his delaying retirement was in any way about the money or sticking it to the Rangers.@KevinDeLury
@Random_Ranger Agreed. I just felt like throwing that point out there. Lots of Rangers fans are unhappy about it though.