The intriguing life of Curtis Brown will continue overseas, as the former Sabres center has decided to play in Switzerland for the next two seasons.
"For my family and the situation and everything, I think it's going to be a great experience," Brown told the San Jose Mercury News.
Brown's life is one of those that is made for the movies, filled with triumphs, tragedies, interesting life choices and swings of emotions.
He was a young, popular professional athlete with the ability to fully enjoy every town he visited, yet in his early 20s he decided to abstain from drinking, swearing and premarital sex. It was a decision he embraced after committing to God.
"I knew I was ready," he told Bucky Gleason in 1999 on the way to the Stanley Cup finals. "I wasn't doing the right things, and that was being a hypocrite. If I believe in something, I have to do it 100 percent. I can't stand on the fence. I had to change some things up."
I can attest to his devotion. Back when we traveled on the Sabres' charter, I was writing a story about Michael Peca (then with the Islanders) and couldn't remember the charity for his golf tournament. I went toward the back of the plane to ask Brown, Peca's good friend. While other players were playing cards and hanging out, Brown was in his seat, reading the Bible and marking passages. It was an eye-opening experience.
Brown was also a player with daily dressing-room swings. One day, he'd walk right up to you and talk for five minutes about your life, your background and what was going on. The next, he'd curtly answer questions or engage in an argument, like the one we had on his last day as a Sabre.
It was in the Amherst Pepsi Center, and he was the subject of several trade rumors. We somewhat-hotly debated the legitimacy of the media and its impact on players' lives. I'll always remember the look and smile on Adam Mair's face as Brown and I went back and forth. Brown was soon on his way to San Jose.
The most recent story of Brown in Buffalo was a sad one, as coach Lindy Ruff was on the verge of tears while recounting the funeral of Brown's infant daughter.
But to Brown's credit, he continued to rely on his faith, and it appears to have carried him through that tragedy. Below is a look from a CBC interview last year. Here's hoping Brown enjoys his next chapter.