David Vyborny

April 2, 2008

The end of the Jackets season is near, unless you count the NHL Draft Lottery on Monday as the final termination point. The team may fight its way out of the lottery with two wins, which might be a positive on a year that showed some promise.

Anyway, with the season over, we will finally get a break from the constant complaining and negativity that permeates Puck-rakers. Most of the time I shrug it off, but I have to admit that the constant berating of David Vyborny got to me. I will be the first to agree with the fact that he has not had a good season, but then again, neither has Fredrik Modin.

Vyborny came here very quietly and will leave the same way. He was a fine man off the ice and he worked very hard when he put his skates on. He was a throw-back player, the kind of athlete who knew that he was playing a game and cheating time for a while longer, knowing that someday the bill would come. Well, it is due now and Columbus will never be the same.

I have written in this blog many times that the Jackets need to evaluate players not just on their physical and hockey skills, but on other things like intelligence, keeping their composure, and their character. Vyborny’s character was way above that of his teammates and probably stronger than most players in the NHL. He did a lot the little things almost perfectly, most likely to compensate for his lack of size. Remember, he joined the league before the Lockout, back when holding, hooking, and interference were not called and a player of his size was fair game. But now, age has caught up to him and he cannot deliver what is expected anymore.

I hope the team finds a way to honor him on Sunday. When Doug MacLean was the public face of the franchise, Vyborny was the guy who tried his hardest to follow through on some his GM’s pronouncements. He always had a smile on his face even though he was unhappy with the way the team played during those years. He did not like losing anymore than the next guy, but he worked his hardest every second on the ice, playing all the forward positions and even the point on powerplays.

One thing I will always remember about Vyborny was when he chided the Detroit fans for booing Sergei Fedorov whenever he touched the puck. “How can they call themselves Hockeytown when they boo him like that?” was what he said. Before you say that this was merely a player routinely sticking up for his teammate, remember that David is a Czech and Fedorov a Russian. Even though the Prague Invasion happened forty years ago, most Czechs will never forget. Jaromir Jagr wears number 68 in remembrance, not because he likes NASCAR numbers. Vyborny had respect for Fedorov and could not understand why others did not.

On Sunday, I will be sad like I always am because my local NHL season ends. But I will be even sadder because David Vyborny will never skate for the Blue Jackets again.

-Truth Serum



  1. It’ll be said to see Vyborny officially go. Over the years he’s been on of my favorite players as well. It’s unfortunate that he’s had such a rough year. He just couldn’t recreate his better seasons in 05-06 and 06-07. Hopefully he can land somewhere where he can really build himself back up.

  2. […] will probably get there eventually.  But, anyone else?  I really can’t think of anyone.  David Vyborny pops into my […]

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