It seems the Rangers intend to take the ice next season by trimming some of the fat off the roster – one of them being their captain.
According to Jesse Spector of the NY Daily News, learning from an unnamed source, the Rangers plan on buying out the remaining years on Chris Drury’s and
Wojtek Wolski contracts.
See updates after the jump:
**UPDATE 2:20 PM
According to Larry Brooks of the New York Post, the Rangers will NOT be buying out the contracts Wojtek Wolski and Sean Avery, only Chris Drury’s.
UPDATE 11:44 AM
Dan Sterlace over at Sabre Noise weighs in on the potential Drury buyout from the Sabres standpoint.
While I do agree Drury could still be serviceable to a team needing depth at center, I disagree with his idea that the Rangers are a team in a “sad state.”
This really isn’t surprising, as, along with Blue Line Station, this topic has been discussed across many websites and blogs since the season ended. Even John Tortorella’s comments regarding Chris Drury on break up day seemed to seal the captain’s fate. Here’s an excerpt from the Daily News article:
“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.
The NHL’s contract buyout window is June 15-30, and the Rangers have been expected to part ways with Drury since John Tortorella‘s read-between-the-lines comment on April 25 that “We have to make decisions for what’s best for the organization moving on… It’s certainly not mine, my total decision, but I have my thoughts.
“These are all conversations we have to have.”
The article also mentions the possibility of the Rangers buying out F Wojtek Wolski’s contract as well; another topic discussed around the blogging & journalism worlds. And since he’s under 25, the Rangers would only be on the hook for 1/3 of his cap hit counting against the cap if they choose to go that route.
The Blueshirts also appear likely to buy out the remaining year on midseason pickup Wojtek Wolski‘s deal, saving another $3.3 million next season while incurring a $666,667 charge in 2012-13.
You have to keep in mind the human element of this situation. Chris Drury is a consummate professional and since coming to New York has only wanted to win for the Rangers while sacrificing his body on numerous occasions. It’s sad that his tenure will most likely end with a buyout and being the team’s captain doesn’t make matters any easier.
However, this is a business and Chris Drury is past his years of being a valuable asset on the ice. Despite the rumors of the salary cap going up to as high as $63 million, the Rangers needs all the cap space & flexibility they can gather to make a run at Dallas C Brad Richards or whoever else they have on their radar.
I understand the idea behind buying out Wojtek Wolski’s contract, as it’s a low-risk move. But, after learning his plans to train with Barbara Underhill this summer with Brian Boyle and other teammates, its possible Wolski has had an attitude change and is committed to make himself in to a better player. Considering the lack of top-end offensive talent the Rangers currently possess, it may just be wise to keep the talented young winger with the Rangers.
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