Chris Drury will never score a 37 goal season for the New York Rangers like he did for the Buffalo Sabres. Unless the absolute perfect storm of a season occurs (aka miracle). Rangers fans have generally come to tolerate the fact that Drury will forever be a 12-16 goal defensive forward who gets remarkably well paid to lead his club.
The problem is; what is Chris Drury’s role (as well as his cause and effect) moving forward? If Sather’s comments are true – that if a younger player wins a spot ahead of a veteran its his job – then Chris Drury’s roster spot could be under threat. The reality though is that Sather’s words don’t ring true for everyone and that $$$ still dictate to some degree.
Consider the current roster; Gaborik, Prospal, Dubinsky, Callahan, Christensen, Anisimov and Avery are probably the main players for top 6 spots right now. That’s 7 into 6 spots without considering Drury. Then factor in Prust, Boogaard, Boyle, Weise, Byers and Zuccarello-Aasen for the other places along with Drury and that’s 7 players for the other 6 forward spots. This is all without considering the merits of Stepan, Grachev and any camp surprises.
Drury’s offensive performance last year was grim. He regressed as an offensive player significantly and players such as Boyle, Prust, Weise and Byers can man the bottom 6 and help the PK for a fraction of the price. Should a $7m ticket and a captaincy title be enough to guarantee a roster spot? No but it is. Some players will start in Hartford even if their play warrants a spot in New York.
The problem extends beyond the forthcoming season. Drury will still be here beyond 10/11. A lot of the above named players will still be under contract at this time. Will Derek Stepan, Evgeny Grachev or Chris Kreider be blocked because of Chris Drury presence? Very possibly. Right now, for all his likeable personality and experience Chris Drury is Rangers Captain and prospect road block. Drury is the next problem Sather will have to negotiate after he brings to an end the Wade Redden saga.
Where do you think Drury fits on the Rangers right now and going forward?