According to the New York Daily News, Chris Drury will not be with the New York Rangers next season. GM Glen Sather is reportedly going to buy out the remainder of his contract. The team captain played in only 24 games last season due to various injuries and scored only one goal. If this indeed happens, it’ll mark the end of one of the worst contracts in NHL history.
On the first day of free agency in 2007, the Rangers made a splash by signing Drury and fellow American center Scott Gomez. Drury received a 5-year deal worth $35.25M and Gomez signed a 7-year deal totaling $51.5M. At the time, Sather said “”We ranked them both as number ones [centers], and we never expected to get both of them.” Neither will finish their contracts and hardly lived up to them with the team. Gomez was quickly traded to Montreal after just two seasons and the Rangers have benefited from getting defenseman Ryan McDonagh.
That “number one center” spent most of his remaining games on the fourth line as an energy player. His captaincy was a complete joke and the Rangers overpaid for a player that they expected to get 70 points a year. Basically, he was a guy that would win faceoffs, block shots, and collect an occasional point, but got 3x the salary a properly run team would give that type of player.
RotoWorld says that buying out Drury would save the Rangers $3.3 million on their salary cap for next year. This gives the team even more cap space to go after Brad Richards, who played under coach John Tortorella in Tampa Bay. However, they would have a $1.6 million cap hit in 2012-13 as a result. In 264 games (over four seasons), Drury had 61 goals and 89 assists for 150 points. That’s on average less than 40 a year and 36 points less than Lubomir Visnovsky, a third-tier defenseman. Drury scored a goal on the day’s final season to avoid being shutout of the G column and the year before, had an embarrassing 32 points.
Yes, I despise Drury and really hope that Sather intends on carrying out what he’s saying. On a day four summers ago where Blueshirts Nation was rejoicing, it was just another sign that this team with disappoint year after year. We could finally hear the end of “Druuuu” chants at the Garden that were so far in between each other, but I’m sure it’ll be replaced by another lazy and uncreative hoot. Ryan Callahan will be named the next captain and will actually act like one. Someone that doesn’t slack off defensively or sits out because he broke a fingernail. I never thought I’d say this in my life, but “Thank you, Glen Sather.” Thank you for finding one positive brain cell in that noggin of yours by doing the right thing.