Thursday, June 9, 2011

Rangers To Buy Out Drury

Jesse Spector of the Daily News is reporting that the New York Rangers, as expected, are going to buy out the final year of Chris Drury’s contract thus ending his disappointing run on Broadway. 
"He's gone," the source said of Drury, who had one goal and four assists this season as he sat out 58 games with finger and knee injuries - more time than he had missed in his 11 previous NHL campaigns combined.
Buying out Drury would save the Rangers $3.3 million against next year's salary cap, with a $1.6 million charge to the Blueshirts' ledger in 2012-13. The Blueshirts also appear likely to buy out the remaining year on midseason pickup Wojtek Wolski's(notes) deal, saving another $3.3 million next season while incurring a $666,667 charge in 2012-13.
Drury signed a 5-year, $35.25 million deal in 2007, which has been an overpayment from the day it was signed, but has only gotten worse as the years have progressed and the decline in Drury’s offense has rapidly accelerated.  The contract itself is not his fault because it was Glen Sather who offered to overpay him so massively, but he also knew that he was never going to live up to those dollars on this stage.
If his knee is sound, expect Drury to catch on with another team and play a valuable role as a fourth line center, penalty killer and positive influence in the locker room though at a drastically reduced price.  Maybe now that he is gone Rangers fans can look beyond the contract and realize there were good things he brought to this team and organization over the last four years, even if he was massively overpaid while doing it.
The sound you hear with this news is the money truck parking outside of Brad Richards house as it gives Glen Sather even more space to go after Richards at all costs.  If that is what indeed happens, then it is possible that Richards will be resented in his last few years as much as Drury has been, even if he will produce more offense at the start of his deal.