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Strength In Numbers

by Staff Writer / Florida Panthers
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By Carson Ingle for floridapanthers.com


If a young man leaves his home in Denver to play bantam hockey in Vancouver at the age of 13, most people would deduce that his familial relationships may be distant at best. They would be wrong in the case of the Panthers 2009 2nd round draft choice, center Drew Shore.  Through all the areas that have been trekked since his initial 1,106 mile journey from Colorado into Canada, the bedrock of family has always remained the center point in Shore’s life. 

Regardless of the physical distance between the eldest son and his family, Shore’s dad, David, talks about a bond that continues to be iron clad. 

“It has always been difficult to watch him go, but we have tried to be at most of his major tournaments and that has provided some very special family times,” David said.

Athletic competition is one area that has always tied the Shore family close together.  David played collegiate lacrosse at Connecticut College and Drew’s mother, Sarah, had a tennis career at the University of North Carolina. Through his parents, Shore realized early on that he might find a place for himself in athletics. 

“They are both pretty athletic people who were always playing sports,” Drew said. “So it became something that I really wanted to get into.” 

Some parents who were athletes themselves are often stereotyped as being controlling when it comes to their athletically inclined children, but there is simply no place for that in the Shore household. 

Harry Truman once said, “I have found the best way to give advice to your children is to find out what they want and then advise them to do it.” 

This sums up the position the Shore parents have taken when directing Drew’s athletic career. Even when he gave up his fathers’ sport of lacrosse, the family never wavered. 

“He has always led the charge,” said David. “Our philosophy has been regardless of what you’re pursuing go after it in a big way.”

Drew also makes the point that while his parents have given him the ability to make choices, they have also instilled valuable advice from their experience in athletics. 

“They instilled hard work as a character trait since my start in sports,” Drew said. “And always had me remember that no matter what happens always hold your head high”

Adding to the competitive spirit of the Shore family is Drew’s three younger brothers: Nick, 16, Quentin, 15, and Baker, 9. They are all working towards big-time hockey careers in their own rights.  Their big brother agrees that they have fostered an environment that has been pivotal to his success. 

“With having three brothers, one of them always wants to go to the rink or shoot pucks in the driveway,” Drew said. “It’s cool because you always have someone to work out with, train with, or skate with.” 

David Shore would also say that Drew’s advancement in hockey has impacted his brothers just as much. 

“There is a fair amount of competition between the boys that I think all cedes on Drew’s passion for the game and his work ethic,” David said. “It’s funny we laugh at the youngest who comes home from school, does his homework, and then wants to go train.  It just makes us laugh because they all seem to follow Drew’s lead.”

The road map of the last six years for Shore includes Vancouver, Detroit, and Ann Arbor.  During this time, he has played for the North Shore Winter Club, Honeybaked AAA’s midget minor team, and the United States National Development Team.  These places and teams have been necessary vehicles to facilitate his return back home.  This fall, Drew will be lacing up the skates for his hometown team and the school where both parents received law degrees, the University of Denver.  The seven time NCAA champions return an experienced group and welcome a talented recruiting class, factors that have Shore very excited to play for the club he grew up watching.  

“I am really fond of the coaching staff and the WCHA is a terrific league so I am looking forward to getting in there and starting the season,” Drew said.

In addition to playing for a great program, Shore will get the chance to play alongside two former Panther draft picks.  John Lee, a sophomore defenseman, was a 2007 draft pick and Marc Cheverie, a junior goalie, is the Pioneers reigning MVP and a 2006 pick of the Cats. 

“That will also be great, Cheverie had a great year, and I am looking forward to playing with both of them, “ Shore said.

Perhaps the most important aspect of playing for the Pioneers remains that Shore will be home consistently for the first time in a long time, and his parents couldn’t be happier. 

“We’re excited to have Drew back,” said Dave. “I think we are just very excited to watch him and the team and see what they can do this year.” 

Recently, Shore has been readying himself for college, but the entire family took the time to make their way to the NHL Draft in Montreal.  They all considered it a “can’t miss” experience.  Some outlets originally had Shore slotted as a first round selection.  While he didn’t hear his name called in the initial 30 picks, it was still a great joy to be selected in the beginning of day two. 

“It was tough Friday night, but once I got picked on Saturday I forgot all about it,” Drew said. “To get picked by an up and coming organization like Florida was all that mattered.”

The timetable on Shore’s ascension to the Panthers lineup is anyone’s guess, but rest assured, when the day comes, it will be another family affair.  Shore’s mom grew up in Sarasota and much of that side of the family remains on the west coast of Florida.  The family is intrigued about the prospect of games at the BankAtlantic Center. 

“It’s just Alligator Alley away,” Dave said “We’re hoping to get a caravan across the state to watch games if that opportunity presents itself.”
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