The news about Chris Drury and his pending buyout seemed to change by the hour. First he was told he was going to be bought out, then he said he was going to cite his injury as a reason to not be bought out, then he said he was going to accept a buyout. Well, if he said he was going to accept his buyout, he doesn’t have to worry. The Rangers did not place Drury on unconditional waivers today (a required step in the buyout process),
which was the last day to place a player on waivers with the intent of buying out a contract. Update 2:45pm: I seem to have mis-spoke here. Since Drury has a NMC, he is allowed 24 hours to make a decision to waive the NMC to be placed on waivers for the buyout. Today could have been the official notification. Drury can still be placed on waivers tomorrow and be bought out on Thursday. The deadline of notification is Thursday at 5pm. Meaning the Rangers technically have a few more days.
In the event that Drury is not placed on waivers, it would leave the Rangers with two options. The first is that they can force a player’s hand to go to arbitration, thus opening up the August buyout period. If the Rangers wind up committing more money than anticipated for their RFAs and the pursuit of Brad Richards, then this is a viable route for them to open up additional cap space and/or summer cap space if necessary.
The second option is to place Drury on LTIR when the season starts, opening up his entire $7.05 million cap hit for the season. This is the most likely of options, but it does present an issue if/when Drury is able to play or wants to play. LTIR becomes a way of telling Drury that they can’t fit him on the roster, and since he cited his knee as an issue, they are going to say he can’t play. I think LTIR leads to a messy divorce between the Rangers and Drury.
Update 2:45pm: This saga will continue until Thursday at 5pm. Please read above.