Chris Drury

Buy High, Sell Low

Jesse Spector of the New York Daily News reports today that the Rangers will seek to buy out captain Chris Drury from the remaining year of his five year contract. The move will save around $3.3M in cap space this season, though it will also add an additional $1.7M or so to the 2012-13 cap figure.

For Drury, it’ll put to an end one of the worst contracts that Glen Sather has handed out so far. Brought in as a UFA from the Buffalo Sabres, Drury proved to be no more than a second line player earning first line dollars. You can’t fault the individual, he was a warrior, but the contract was, and always has been a dramatic overpayment for a role playing forward with some goalscoring.

After solid debut season of 25 goals and 58 points, Drury saw a modest decline in year two before dropping off precipitously in 2009-10 when he recorded just 14 goals and 18 assists in 77 games. Last year injuries kept him out of all but 24 games, and he recorded just one goal – that coming in a surprise return to the team for the final game.

The highlights for Drury have been few and far between as a Ranger, though that last goal of his Blueshirt career to tie the game and help the Rangers through to the playoffs will certainly be remembered.

The report that Wojtek Wolski would also be bought out appear now to be in question. Larry Brooks of the NY Post confirmed the Drury news today, but noted that his contacts in the Rangers organization indicate that neither Wolski, nor Sean Avery – who was speculated to be on the hit list following the end of the season – will be bought out. Both could certainly still be traded, and are in the last year of their respective contracts.

The additional space freed up by the buy-out of their captain, will give the Rangers about $21M or so to spend on resigning Artem AnisimovBrian BoyleRyan CallahanBrandon Dubinsky and Michael Sauer. The five players are anticipated to be locked up for around $15M, leaving $5-6M for additional upgrades.

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