It appears the Chris Drury situation might finally be reaching a conclusion. Larry Brooks is reporting that Chris Drury is likely going to accept a buyout from the team. The deadline for buyouts is Thursday, and players have to pass through 48 hour waivers in order to be bought out. However, Chris Drury could invoke his No-Movement Clause to bypass waivers altogether. Glen Sather refused to comment about it until it actually happens, which we can expect to be done in the next couple of days. The move will end Drury’s 3 year reign as captain of the team.
Drury accepting the buyout is good news for the team for a few reasons. First of all, it prevents a messy breakup. It initially seemed that Drury and his agent were going to prevent a buyout by claiming injury, which would make the Rangers unable to complete to move. As overpaid as Drury was, he truly has cared about this team and always put out his best effort. It would be unfortunate if his tenure with the Rangers ended with a messy battle between him and Sather.
It will also open up some cap room. Had the Rangers been unable to buyout Drury, the only way they could have made his salary irrelevant would have been to place him on LTIR and spend all of his cap hit. With the buyout, the Rangers will only be hit with a$3.717 Million cap penalty for the upcoming season and a $1.667 Million hit the next one. Thus, the Rangers will have more cap space to work with this season, and will make it easier to resign all of the RFA’s and perhaps bring in a free agent or two.
And finally, it signals the end of an era and the start of a new one. Ryan Callahan is the front runner for future captain, but don’t discount Brandon Dubinsky or Marc Staal’s chances, either. No matter who it is, a player who represented Sather’s recklessness will be off the team and a new player representing the homegrown youth this team is relying on will be the next captain.