Chris Drury retires (updated)

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This announcement just came in from the NHLPA:

CHRIS DRURY RETIRES AFTER 12 NHL SEASONS

…veteran forward played in 892 NHL games

TORONTO (August 19, 2011) – Chris Drury announced his retirement today from the National Hockey League (NHL) following a 12-year career.

After being drafted by the Quebec Nordiques with the 72nd pick in the 1994 NHL Entry Draft, Drury went on to play 892 career NHL games with four different teams (Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, New York Rangers).

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The union added that Drury will not be available for media interviews at this time.

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I don’t blame him for waiting until after his buyout. That’s a lot of money to leave on the table. But if he’d done this before the summer, he could have saved the Rangers a lot of cap space.

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Glen Sather on Chris Drury:

“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.”

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Oh, geez, almost forgot (or actually did forget, but just remembered) today is the Rangers’ day on NHL.com’s 30-in-30. Some interesting reading. Check it out here.

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AP photo, above.

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176 Comments

  1. really not sure how I feel about this.

    Had he known he was going to retire before he accepted the buyout, shame on him.

    Just another mercenary looking for a pay-day.

  2. Sad to see his career end so early compared to other players – check the records, i never once bashed him while he was in Ranger blue – nothing but good wishes for him

  3. NYRanger4Life, he accepted the buyout b/c he thought he could maybe play.

    Doubt it was for the money, it’s been pointed out insurance would have paid him out either way.

  4. When players get traded and have to move their family from one side of the country to the other, it’s “part of the business.” When players make smart financial moves for themselves and their families, they are “selfish.”

  5. He was definitely looking for some offers and probably didn’t get what he thought he could get on the open market.

    He’s got too much pride to pull something like this where he knowingly retired after his buyout. If he wanted to do that, he would’ve said it the next day after Sather gave him the boot.

    He just didn’t draw enough interest since I’m sure teams were very concerned about that knee. Sucks to see. Was extremely overpaid and I was happy to see him gone, but the guy is a great locker room leader/influence on the young kids and a great team player. Always gave it his all every shift.

  6. I would bet he thought that he could play again. I would guess a summer of workouts proved that there was too much pain.

  7. Ryan, he wasn’t being selfish; he just showed that, unlike Markus Naslund, he’s not remarkably unselfish. Nothing wrong with pointing out the latter.

  8. I’m not going to let this retirement news ruin my Afghan Independence Day.

    I can’t really blame the guy for not retiring before the buyout either. No, he’s not Naslund, but on the presumption that his injury is playing a significant part in his decision to retire, he possibly could’ve dug his heels in and declared himself unfit to play, preventing the Rangers from even having the option of a buyout.

  9. Wicky (Leeloo Dallas mul-ti-pass) on

    Morning ILB and all!

    I’m more interested in 24/7 than I am in the game!!

    Nasland>drury

  10. Sorry, Chris. I should know better than to report news and make certain people happy. I’ll get back to jibberish soon.

    I forgot, then remembered, that today is the Rangers’ day on NHL.com’s 30-in-30. Bunch of stories and analysis there:

    http://www.nhl.com/

  11. Adam, I can agree with that. I still think they are two different situations though. I think Drury, if healthy, may have played another year or two with a young team. Maybe he finally decided it wasn’t worth it. But that’s just speculation. Who really knows?

    Either way, he left Slats less money to throw at Richards!! haha

  12. Good guy, not a bad player, but he had no chance of living up to the expectations that came with his huge contract here. As for the timing, like others said, I think that he had hoped to sign with another team but just wasn’t getting the offers he wanted, so he retired.

    Sad to see a good player’s career end like this, but I guess that comes with the territory of pro sports. Good luck to him.

  13. chris drury, classy right till the end, waiting for the buyout before deciding to retire even though he probably knew he couldn’t physically hold up for another year.

    oh well, i won’t let this ruin my august 20th weekend

  14. This whole situation embodies the Dreary Chris Drury…And, Drury’s misery is not Sather’s fault. Drury failed to deliver offesnively the last 2 seasons in NY. We paid *market value* for him. He’s a nice guy but we paid him to be a hockey player not a “class act”…

    Selfishness was rampant in his NYR tenure

    He’s clearly more loyal to Colony Grill than MSG….not kidding

    Why now?

    My disgust goes beyond just the cap space that would have been saved. What about other moves than could have potentially been made with that cap space? What about the example it sets for other guys?

  15. DarrenDreger Chris Drury retires. Wonder if he has interest in coaching, mngmnt? Smart guy. Size never an issue in his prime. Always a scoring threat

    Darren? WTB have you been watching? Sabres highlights from 2006?

  16. There were a lot of bitter and unfair words said on this blog about Chris Drury. Proud, I never was one of them…(never been in line to kick dying lion). “Overpaid” issues never been players problems and have nothing to do with player’s character and not a reason for hatred, blame or mocking competition. This guy definitely has a big heart and willingness to give everything he has on and off ice. Was it enough to satisfy fans and team? No, but not for the lack of efforts. As saying goes, devil is in a details and we never knew and still don’t know all nuances of his money talks or traumas (maybe it’s good) and can’t come to certain conclusions (morals in particular). I wish him the best and sadly thank him for whatever he’s done for organization.

  17. Why couldn’t he be brought in as a coach/mgmt person for the Rangers? We could have saved the cap space if he took a job and remained in the organization after retirement….

    ANSWER: He’d rather get more money from another team or retire from the NHL altogether…(after collecting his cheese, and I don’t mean mozzarella)

    Class act…

  18. All the best to Chris. He did a lot for hockey in general, and for US hockey especially.
    And like LW mentioned, if it was only for money, he could’ve declared himself unfit to play and thereby prevented the Rangers from buying him out. Retired after and got his full contract paid. It’s either he didn’t draw any interest or his knee is gone.
    And before we call him selfish, I’d like to know how many people would leave that much money on the table.

  19. I wouldn’t leave it on the table…I’d want the full $7m I’m entitled to…rather than the buyout amount that he settled for…

    I also rather work at MSG as a hockey coach or mgmt person, than flip pizzas in CT.

    But, that’s just me…

  20. Jlone2Bubblehead on

    regardless… The NHL and the NYR have lost another player that was good for the League and good for the Game.

  21. good luck to Drury is his post-retirement years
    but it’s too bad he didn’t do a Naslund
    if he was going to get his money via insurance
    (if i read that correctly)

    as someone mentioned, maybe he actually thought he could
    get on another team.

    at the very least too bad his days with the Rangers
    went like a slow-motion crash. well, the vehicle stopped Chris.
    get out and move along with your life.

  22. He probably wanted too much money than any team was offering him, and when he couldn’t get it, he decided to retire.

    Kind of surprising. He could still play, if healthy, but just not the way he used to.

    Or maybe he’s looking to go to the MLB. They like LLWS champs, right?

  23. The Puck Daddy piece on his retirement includes the following lines:

    “For Drury, it was all about the intangibles. The leadership. The desire to do the little things to win.”

    I make that the clutch hat-trick in consecutive sentences. Is there some sort of pro-forma that the hockey media is forced to use when talking about him?

  24. Naslund did a very honorable thing, no questions. But he also knew he could go back home in Sweden and play there. And he did.

  25. Naslund wasn’t intending to play again though, ilb. He only came out of retirement to help his Swedish team out.

  26. “Naslund did a very honorable thing, no questions. But he also knew he could go back home in Sweden and play there. And he did.”

    For free. He took no salary.

  27. lets just hope that drury decided on retirement post buyout and wasnt thinking this before. cause then i will hate him even more. the problem is us fans will never know what the player is thinking. hopefully he can continue his career in pizza business. see you chris enjoy life

  28. A wild idea is that this was all a plan by Drury to help the Rangers land Richards and that Drury is rehabbing his knee will come back to NY at a discount for the playoffs in 37-goal form ….

    It’s nice to daydream, eh?

  29. You guys bashing Drury have a very selective and somewhat myopic memory. First of all, the ‘boat load’ of cash Naslund “left on the table” was $4 million. No more, no less. He left it there after he showed without a doubt that he was slowing markedly at the NHL level. He had a mediocre season to his standards, and he looked mule-slow by the end of it. His showing in the playoffs solidified the fact that his clock in professional hockey was ticking down to its last few minutes. Then six months later, he signs with Modo Hockey Ornskoldsvik, the same team as his buddy Petr Forsberg. Now the story goes that Naslund never wanted to play again, but Forsberg convinced him otherwise. In reality, he always wanted to do a swan song with Modo, the team where he started the first three years of his professional career, and was simply waiting for an invite.

    Now onto Drury. The guy is turning 35 tomorrow. He’s had a long and distinguished career. But the fact remains that he still didn’t see himself as being done in the NHL, as evidenced by his relentless efforts to comeback. We only learned of the degenerative condition in his knees when the Rangers were talking about buying him out. My guess is the guy, like many NHLers, wasn’t ready to quit, but his body was. For a guy like that, playing through the pain is the easy part. Only it’s a lot harder to convince an NHL club to take a risk on you and give you an over-35 contract when you have a condition that could very well end your career at any point. I’m sure he tried to get a deal done before tomorrow, and there were plenty of rumors that he would. But the fact that it didn’t happen and his birthday is tomorrow(and thus the much more restrictive contract stipulations) convinced him to hang them up.

    Also, I’d love to see one of you guys approaching the end of your careers, not knowing what you’re going to do with the rest of your life or how you’re going to keep earning income leave a giant chunk of change on the table from your job. I’d bet my balls that all of you would grab the cash and run.

    Drury was a class act. He played to the best of his ability in NY and had an attitude that was infectious in the locker room. I wouldn’t be surprised if players like Staal, Callahan and Dubinksy credit him for the team’s one-for-all mantra that seemingly exists today. The fact that some of you guys still bag on him really baffles me.

  30. CC – Regardless, Naslund would have never been able to play with Forsberg if he were still under contract with the Rangers. Cash or no cash, he left the Rangers because he wanted to finish his career with his friend in his home country, so don’t paint it as some sort of altruistic act he did to save the Rangers.

  31. phil, if you bet them on me doing that, youd get to keep them. I would not leave cash on the table. not a chance.

  32. Naslund doesn’t care about money. He will probably get elected to sons high political office in Sweden someday.

    Remember, the Rangers ultimately made the decision to buy Drury out.

  33. I don’t blame Drury one bit for doing what was best for himself and his family. As was pointed out earlier, I think most of us would do the same in his situation. I think it was only one year that was bought out, so it isn’t that big a deal to the team. In any case, that is not Drury’s concern or his fault.

    He always gave it his all, even when it was clear he was declining physically. And if it wasn’t for his goal in the finale last season against the Devils, who knows if we would have made the playoffs.

  34. I hear the word “classy” said about athletes and it also makes me wonder what is it that makes a guy classy? Is it because he isn’t boastful? Is it because he isn’t a loudmouth? Is it because he doesn’t badmouth other players or coaches in public? Is that it? Because if it is, then the definition of classy is that you’re not an a-hole.

  35. I’m with Phil and Carp – how many would leave that kind of money on the table.

    Good luck to Drury. I agree he was good for the younger guys, and that he was a class act. He didn’t do what people were hoping for, but I thought he gave it his all. He ruined both his hand and his knee playing with us. I don’t blame him for any of it. Most of us drank the kool-aid about him and Gomer being worth that kind of money when clearly neither was.

  36. Mister Delaware on

    If my company asked me to tomorrow, I’d do accounting for free. I’m all about being not selfish!

  37. “…if he’d done this before the summer, he could have saved the Rangers a lot of cap space.” There in a nutshell is the reason why capt’ pizza was not a leader and hated by many during his tenure.

  38. Capt. Clutch spotted on the vineyard playing golf with another “leader”. His clutchness was overheard saying, “not gonna let retirement ruin my vacation.” Film at 11.

  39. Adios Drury. You played with the Rangers for how many years? And the only memory I have of you is the goal you scored as a Sabre four seasons ago to beat us in the playoffs.

    Good riddance.

  40. I’ll remember Drury as a great American player that gave kids someone to look up to. Living in CT, i’d love to get a pizza from his place, but i’m just afraid it won’t be clutch enough. It’ll likely be lumpy and indifferent.

  41. “the union added that Drury will not be available for media interviews at this time.”

    of course not. spare us any more Dreary mumbling and awkwardly shy pouty-faced wallflower-act downer interviews

  42. HowlingsToday Chris #Drury has been & forever shall be one of my favorite hockey players of all time. Congratulations on a great career. Enjoy retirement!

    Of all time? Really?

    First this guy says that the NHL should take another look at fighting in hockey, because Rypien kills himself, and now he’s saying Dreary is one of his favorite players of all time??

    This guy needs rehab!!

  43. I have to side with 4ever’s and ilb’s take on this. Did he deliver for us as expected? Nope. But that shouldn’t take away from his whole career, and I do feel bad that it ended on such a note.
    And Phil, your macadamias would be safe if you bet them on me, too. I have a special love for George and Abe and all those dead guys inked in green.

    Gotta run! Later!

  44. To be honest, I wanted to see Drury sign with a rival team. I wanted to observe his further decline on another bench and exploit his weaknesses. I am not surprised he pulled this move when he didn’t get another offer, and I’m not surprised NO ONE wanted to pay this guy money.

    Everyone wants to talk about his glorious career, but everyone ignores the fact that he was *shown the door* by every NHL team he played for.

  45. LOL!! Orr, I had the Buffalo Chicken from Subway today…They should rename it the “The $5 Dreary”

  46. Hey CCCP… hadnt heard about Shpongle but that could be a pretty wildfaced throwdown…did you go to Camp this year?

  47. Glen Sather statement on Chris Drury:

    “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.”

  48. Salty

    No camp for me. I think I’ll take a page outta Drury’s book and retire, from Bisco lol

    You should consider Shpongle Live. As far as i know, it’s going to be a massive 3 hours live band set! And this will be the first time they be playing live in the US. I’m definitely going. I got the tix already and a couple of sick glow in the dark trippy Shpongle t-shirts! It’going to be wild, man! ;)

  49. Carp – think you opened a wormbag here with that buyout comment.

    If in June Chris thought he could play, well then obviously no retirement. Now in August he either hasn’t gotten the offers or just finally realizes it – and retires.

    Do you know that he knew he was going to retire in June??

    S_

  50. No, I wasn’t suggesting he did anything wrong … just sayin’ that the timing could have saved the Rangers some cash. I don’t blame Chris, whether he knew or not that he was going to retire. I would have done the same thing.

  51. LOL I just had this tiny little bug on my computer monitor and I was chasing him and redirecting him with my cursor. Fun stuff.

  52. The fact that he retires a day before his 35th birthday makes me think that the money was the only thing keeping his hopes alive to play again in the NHL…I know there was a lot of interest, maybe he couldn’t pass a physical?…(Detroit, Buffalo, Florida were interested as I recall)….and there is no way he would have accepted a move to the AHL by the Rangers to keep his money…

    I was very surprised when I read this today….whatever…

  53. ddeb, LOL!!!!

    bull dog, sigh, it’s gonna be another one of those years for us I guess :)

  54. Mama, I’m thinking it might have been Zucc. I hope so ’cause he’ll be in great shape come camp. I totally bagged him.

  55. ddeb, my cat once caught a (real) mouse in my apartment. First thought she (Stanley!) was playing with a toy. But she totally bagged him. Thinking it may have been Aves v. Marty…..Boom!

  56. Maybe he just lost the desire to play the game. I highly doubt he retired based on money. I don’t know why anyone would think that.

    I’m sure a team with cap space, like the Avs, maybe, would be interested in bringing him in for a short term deal for a acceptable amount of money.

    Also, maybe he didn’t want to move his family to another place, so retirement was the best option. That’s a possibility!!

  57. Mama- That sounds familiar was that when it left the mouse at Carps doorstep as honorarium.

    Chris F –
    The Goose will be behind the glass for all Rangers home games this year- big Rangers fan. You heard it here first.
    For the sake of full disclosure – my source is a secret coded message from Rod.
    There is however an alternate interpretation which thinks it could mean the Thrashers are moving to Winnepeg. ha!

  58. Olga Folkyerself on

    It was Good Riddance to Drury when he was bought out. Another disastrous signing had come to it’s merciful conclusion. All the damage is done and the corpses have finally washed down river, out of sight.

    His retirement merits a “Who Cares”.

    Reason 37 to FIRE SATHER.

  59. No ddeb, I don’t let my cats out of the house sans terrace walks, and Carp, I think, wouldn’t trade me Rangers calendars for dead meece. Then again, I could be wrong.

    and don’t bring up …that…will ya?

  60. Hey hey- Good to see you are healthy, Olga!

    As far as your compassion pbbbbbsssssst! :)

  61. onecupin72yearsandcounting on

    3-5 years from now will be saying the same things about gaborik and richards

  62. onecup, I so don’t want to laugh or believe in that, but I have to kind of lol…LGR!!!!!!

  63. Olga Folkyerself on

    Messier should’ve been reported to the Audubon Society for hitting Penguins…

  64. Wicky©Give Prust an "A" on

    My goal is down from 225 to 220, more speed and momentum to punish in the corners!

  65. Wicky©Give Prust an "A" on

    LOL olga!!

    I wonder if he thinks about hitting OPG all the time because he plays like a penguin??

  66. Wicky©Give Prust an "A" on

    anyone have a link from the 97 playoffs (I think) when gilmour was with the devils and messier cross checked him right in the face and knocked out some of his teeth I think?

  67. My plan is to get as much Boston Cream Donuts, Bacon Burgers, and Benjamin & Jerry’s Ice Cream into my system!

    Last night I was in such a mood for donuts, when I fell asleep, I had a dream that I bought donuts, and someone ate them. I was so pissed. It felt so real!

  68. Last night I was in such a mood for donuts, when I fell asleep, I had a dream that I bought donuts, and someone ate them. I was so pissed. It felt so real!
    LMFAO haaaa haaaa

  69. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Olga
    loved that fight…Chris Simon was the man, he was awesome. Did you see the look on hamrlik’s face when he saw it was simon that shoved him?? PRICELESS!!

  70. Olga Folkyerself on

    I liked Fleury as a Ranger, McCarthy was all right, and I liked Purinton too.

    They just shouldn’t have all been on the team at the same time, that’s all…

  71. Wicky(grating PIBG)© (The she/it on our D is sofa king SOFT!!!) on

    Olga
    you may be the only other person here besides me that didn’t mind purinton.

  72. Eddie Eddie Eddie on

    Dale purinton was a great battler….stood up for teammates and never backed down… I liked him

  73. Olga Folkyerself on

    Purinton was worth more for his money than all those fat cat overage overpaid veterans Sather kept resurrecting…

  74. Olga- With the way this summer has gone for the Rangers you must be totally conflicted.

    Then again, probably not.

    Fire Sather

  75. Olga Folkyerself on

    No conflict whatsoever…

    No Cup for 11 years? I don’t think this is the year, either..

    FIRE SATHER!

  76. Olga Folkyerself on

    Now, the Black Hawks picking up Carcillo?

    There’s a conflict… It’s hard to love a turd.

  77. Olga Folkyerself on

    C3P, I’ve been laying low for awhile. We just moved to a different house over the summer, bringing along 23 years of trash and treasures with us. I think we’re pack rats at heart, some of the stuff we moved and didn’t throw out was actually embarrassing.

    Now we just need to settle in by the Rangers Pre-season.

  78. Olga Folkyerself on

    It’s the old “it’ll be worth something someday” syndrome.

    Well, someday is here, is it worth anything yet?

    I should have “Born to Save Junk” tattooed on my arm…

  79. “It was Good Riddance to Drury when he was bought out. Another disastrous signing had come to it’s merciful conclusion. All the damage is done and the corpses have finally washed down river, out of sight.

    His retirement merits a “Who Cares”.

    Reason 37 to FIRE SATHER.”
    Olga thank you for putting into words how I felt about Drury retiring.
    None of the old crap I saved has become gold let that be a lesson!

  80. Olga Folkyerself on

    Steve C, thanks for the kind words. Now I have a fireplace, maybe I can at least recover the heat value of some of the junk?

  81. Yep – and as someone mentioned we might not have made the playoffs without that goal.

    I’m diggin Shpongle right now – even a little Spanish guitar I hear

  82. ………………….”The evil that men do lives after them, while the good is oft interred with their bones”

    All this vitriol about Drury, and so much of it undeserved. One poster going to the extent of using the word Hate, in reference to a man who always tried to do his best for his team, even though in many instances near the end, he was simply incapable physically to achieve the moves and effort that his physical condition allowed him to. Lost in the limbo of the outraged fan, is the memory of any number of games, where Drury, even though no longer capable, he strove to do what he thought was to his team’s best interest, he stumbled, fell short, could not rally himself like those days when he had time after time, scored the key goal that won a game, set up the key pass that allowed a team mate to score the critical goal, pulled one key face off win and pass set p that at times won for rangers, and at last had reach the end of his ability…and he did the right thing.

    Instead of acknowledging his prior service, he is subject to vilification and verbal abuse, which no player should have to absorb, no less that the one accepted as Captain by his team mates.

    I for one applaud his tour with Rangers, and wish him well, and if he is brought into the organization as a coach, or other off ice position, I welcome him aboard and Rangers will be the w will be the winners in the end.

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