Gerard Gallant’s success thus far with the New York Rangers has been undeniable. But what about President and General Manager Chris Drury? Does his year in charge translate to a nomination for the Jim Gregory General Manager of the Year award? Having taken the reigns near the end of the season last year, Drury was busy improving the team from the get-go. Early decisions were made to replace the coaching staff and hire Gallant, a definite win for the new GM.
Captain clutch knew where to find his clutch players
He would go on to add character players in Barclay Goodrow and Ryan Reaves at little cost to the future. He signed Ryan Lindgren, and extended cornerstone players Shesterkin, Adam Fox and Mika Zibanejad. At the trade deadline Drury added Andrew Copp, Frank Vatrano, Tyler Motte and Justin Braun, again, at little cost to the future of the organization.
Every one of these moves was made to help improve the team now, but done so without surrendering any of the team’s youth or purging the team’s prospect pipeline. Drury additionally oversaw the teams selections at the 2021 draft where the team selected Brennan Othmann 16th overall. Each of these transactions qualify as wins for Drury, but it has not been all roses for GM.
Signing Patrick Nemeth to a three year deal appears to have been very shortsighted and much was made about the value of the Goodrow contract ($3.6M for 6yrs). The biggest downvote to Drury’s tenure thus far has been the trade of Pavel Buchnevich. While salary cap constraints forced Drury to move Buchnevich, the return of Sammy Blais and a second round pick was a low yield return.
All said, credit should be given where credit is due. Drury built upon the core he inherited, adding character to a team much in need of it. He brought in the key that unlocked the teams potential in Gallant and has a team in a first place race while having sacrificed nothing of the organization’s future. With Lou Lamarillo winning the Jim Gregory Award the past two years, there is no reason to doubt that Chris Drury deserves the recognition in 2022.