Monday, June 22, 2009

Ranger Roster Review: Chris Drury

Chris Drury
Position: LW
Status: Signed
Salary: $7,050,000
Age: 32
Regular season:
Games Played: 81
Goals (22) + Assists (34 ) = 56 Points
Plus Minus: (-8)
Penalties in Minutes: 32
Goals-per-Shot = 22/219 = 10.0%

Games Played: 6
Goals (1) + Assists (0) = 1 Points
Plus Minus: (-5)
Penalties in Minutes: 2
Goals-per-Shot = 1/5 = 20%

It hurts me to write this.

Okay - let's start with the positives. Drury is a very good hockey player. He had leadership skills on and off the ice. His effort level is always right where you'd want it to be. The New York Rangers could do much much worse than having a man like Chris Drury as team captain. Drury is a great asset to the team. He makes everyone around him better. He plays hurt. He leaves it all it on the ice.

But - and this is the hard part - that's not the whole story.

Now, I wouldn't look too hard at his playoff stats this year (one goal, minus 5) because he was playing hurt - badly hurt with an injury that affected his ability to hold the stick and shoot. Chris Drury is pretty close to the top of the Rangers leaderboard in points. He gets goals and assists. His 10 percent goals per shots-on-goal average is very good. He's a major contributor to the hockey team.

On offense I would call him a good player- but not an elite player.

The problem is - the Rangers are paying him like an elite player.

Drury makes more than 7 million a year. That's more than Lundqvist. And it matters because hockey has a salary cap. And every extra dollar we throw at Chris Drury is one we can't throw at a real sniper - a lights out goal scorer - the one thing the Rangers don't have and are suffering without.

So - as much as we like Drury - and as much as he helps the Rangers - if another team wanted him in a trades - or even to take him and pay his salary - we would have to give that offer a good hard look.

I will say this - Drury produces - and he is not the main problem - the Rangers are getting far more talent-per-dollar with Chris than they are with several other absurdly high paid players on the team.

But reluctantly - if the Rangers could trade their captain to get a legitimate strike-fear-into-their opponents top-line goal scorer - I'd have to say yes. Of course - the Rangers gave Drury a no-trade clause in his contract - so in all likelihood we'll have Chris around for a long time.

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