Saturday, January 22, 2011

Daily Recap: Buying Out Drury; Grachev Gets A Message; Newbury Making Case

The New York Rangers were off today as they prepare for tomorrow’s crucial game against the eighth place Thrashers.  With tonight’s action the Rangers did lose ground and position in the standings as with their win Montreal passed New York in the standings.  That result only makes tomorrow’s game with Atlanta even more critical for the Rangers to widen the gap between them and the final playoff position in the Eastern Conference.

As for today on the site I took a look at Evgeny Grachev, Kris Newbury and buying out Chris Drury.

I have never been a proponent of buyouts under the system the NHL has constructed in the way the cap hits are configured, but in the case of Chris Drury a buyout this summer is the best move for the Rangers.  The reasoning goes beyond just Drury’s poor play and seeming utter loss of his offensive game to a level that seemed unimaginable.  There are negatives to the move as well which are discussed along with what the savings and costs are financially, against the cap, over the years.  Maybe Drury would do everyone a favor and save himself the embarrassment of such a move by just retiring, but that might be asking too much.

In looking at Grachev I wondered if this time he was going to get the message on what he needs to do in order to make himself a candidate for the NHL.  There is no bigger message they could send to him then having five of his teammates called up and on the NHL roster while he remains in the AHL having been deemed not ready.  To his credit he has shown improvement this month and scored another goal tonight, but there is still a long way to go.  For me the biggest messages beyond the sheer number of guys who are up with the NHL club over him is how many of them are known to have no real long term impact with the franchise.  I am not ready for the bust label on Grachev because the talent is there and frankly the Rangers need him to exercise it.

Speaking of those Whale guys who are on the NHL roster, Kris Newbury has made an impression in four appearances with the team.  I believe with the way he has played and the roles he is showing he can fill that Newbury is making a case to stay not just until the injured players can get back, but after as well.