According to reports coming from Jesse Spector at the Daily News, the Rangers are truly intending to buy out the final year of Chris Drury’s contract and end his disappointing and expensive stay on Broadway. Thanks to the NHL contract buy out window of June 15-30, the move, if it does indeed happen, is expected to happen soon and will mean the Rangers have even more ‘playing room’ when the club gets to July 1st.
Drury has been a massive disappointment on the ice as a Ranger. While it wasn’t his fault for taking the ridiculous contract offered to him a few summers ago (every Ranger fan, capable player or not would have taken it) he simply couldn’t live up to his contract or even his former glories at Colorado and Buffalo. Rangers’ fans never saw much of ‘Captain Clutch’ at any stage of his Rangers tenure.
As with any move that the Rangers make prior to July, how does this affect the Brad Richards scenario? Well simply put, the Rangers have more margin for error when it comes to a contract offer. That one fact may make many Rangers fans nervous if Glen Sather decides to get Richards at all costs. As discussed here countless times, Richards is absolutely what the Rangers need, but whether he should come at any cost is highly debatable.
Back to Drury. The current Rangers captain had an awful season last year as he only managed a single goal and four assists in his injury shortened campaign, which offered no hope at any stage that he could get back to his old level. Not everything Drury has done in NY has been bad though. He may be a bland interview, but he was respected throughout the dressing room, he had a great relationship with the coaching staff, and he seemed to be a great connect between the players and staff. A great defensive player who gave up his body to stop a shot, Drury was a rare Ranger that was efficient in the faceoff circle. Will it be Richards that replaces Drury’s veteran presence and face off skills? Only time will tell. Assuming the reports of Drury’s buyout are true of course.