At practice, he works for it. In games, he plays for it. And even when he leaves the rink, in the stillness of his own home, he can't get it out of his mind.
Chris Drury is obsessed with the Stanley Cup.
"I was lying in bed one night and couldn't sleep, and it just dawned on me there wasn't one in here," the Buffalo Sabres co-captain said while standing in the team's HSBC Arena dressing room shortly after having large photos of the Stanley Cup hung there.
Drury has a fixation with winning. That's why the moribund Sabres, coming off their scandal-ridden, bankrupt season of 2002-03, traded away two important assets to obtain the hard-working center from the Calgary Flames. Drury was brought in as an organizational keystone, the type of leader whose passion can fortify everyone around him.
He has won virtually his entire life. He famously pitched his Trumbull, Conn., baseball team to the Little League World Series title. He won an NCAA hockey championship with Boston University as a freshman and the Hobey Baker Award as the nation's top collegiate player as a senior. He was the NHL's rookie of the year in 1999. He hoisted a Stanley Cup with the Colorado Avalanche in 2001 - the year the Sabres last reached the playoffs.
Drury will be skating in his second Olympics later this month for Team USA. But that will be a diversion to his main objective: a photo finish for the Sabres.
"Our goal from the beginning," he said, "was to win our division and make a run at that trophy."
- Tim Graham