|Drury leaves the NHL like he came in: Quietly (Goldfield/NY Daily News)|
Overall his career was an absolute pleasure to watch going from a star at Boston University all the way to being a Stanley Cup champion. He was a face for USA Hockey and a player that many people wish they could emulate.
When Drury got to the Rangers, the expectations that were lopped on him were great even if those expectations were ones that Drury had never met during his career. The toll of his style of play began to get to him last season as injuries started mounting, the result of a career played hurt and ignoring pain. From concussions to wrist injuries, Drury persevered and continued to play.
The buyout this offseason signaled the end of Drury's career as a New York Ranger but I don't think anyone expected it to be the end of a career, including Drury. There are some who believe that he intentionally waited until after the buyout to retire so he could receive the remaining money on his contract. Looking at the way things went I do not think this is the case. The reason for such a long delay, I believe, is that Drury believed he would find another team and would continue training during the summer. However, as the summer went on, he realized that his conditioning could not reach the level necessary that he believed is needed to be the kind of player he is. A degenerative knee condition like Drury makes it very difficult for any player to continue playing, especially one like Drury, whose style involves sacrificing his body.
What the truth is, no one may ever know but what is known is that a great career is over. Drury holds a special place for me being from Connecticut and having gone to prep school where my alma mater (Fairfield University) lies. I had the fortune of meeting his family on one occasion and wish him only the best in his future.