Former Sabres co-captain Chris Drury (wow, that word "former" sure seems wrong, huh?) made it clear in a phone call this morning that Buffalo was his first choice. He wanted to be a Sabre, and he listed the many reasons why as part of a farewell message to the fans and organization.
Though Drury has been given a great opportunity with his hometown team, the New York Rangers, he's also leaving a place that truly became dear to him. He'll miss it.
"It's probably hard for people to believe now," Drury said, "but my family and I, we genuinely liked it there. It was home. No matter what, it will always hold a special place in my heart. I always refer to my daughter being born there, and there's nothing more special than that, having your kids born. I'll always remember those two days with lots of smiles.
"Going forward, I'll never have a bad thought or thing to say about anyone in that organization. They just treated me great, from the minute I got to traded from Calgary right on through yesterday.
"Some guys might have been extremely mad that a deal didn't get done, but you've got to understand it's a business, and for whatever reason it didn't get done. I still will have nothing but high praise if anyone asks me about Lindy, Jeep, Scott Arniel, McCutcheon, Corsi and Darcy and right on through with the equipment staff, the training staff. There's some great people there.
"As far as the fans, not only did the fans respond unbelievably, which makes them great fans, but I think they're just great people, too. It's a great place to live. They're passionate, but they can give you your space. It's nice thing to have."
Drury was a nice thing for this town and its team to have. Too bad it couldn't have been for longer.