Tuesday, September 29, 2009

Something's Up With Drury - part 2

We wrote about it Saturday - and we hoped we were wrong or that it would all blow over. But the news continues to be bad. The New York Rangers' Captain - Chris Drury - and Coach John Tortorella seem to be having some kind of issue with each other. And with the regular season almost here - there's not a lot of time left to fix it.

Let's start at the beginning. John Tortorella in his first full season with the Rangers - seems determined to re-make the club in his own image. Let's recap last years leading scorers:

1 - Gomez - 58 points - Traded away - to Canadians

2 - Zherdev - 58 points - sent to arbitration - then sent away

3 - Drury - 56 points - ?????????????

4 - Naslund - 46 points - preferred to retire rather than return

Over the summer we got some good news - the Coach and the Captain were reportedly doing the phone thing - feeling each other out - building some kind of bond - working on that BFF thing.

But this pre-season - here's what we're seeing:

  • Tortorella has been telling his team to "Shut Up And Play" when last year's primary player spokesman was Drury

  • Chris who in past years was gracious with the New York Press - is now disappearing after games. This preseason, instead of holding court at his locker he's darting out the door.

  • Tortorella has been talking about almost every player on the roster - and many not on the roster - but has been strangely silent about his team Captain lately.

  • Drury's pre-season stats have been pretty much non-existent. He's not producing like the Chris Drury we know and love. In fact, he's not producing... period.

  • Torotrella has been trying out Gaborik with the newcomer Prospal - and later on with Dubinski But Torts is not giving the veteran Captain a chance with the team's lone offensive superstar. It looks to us like a deliberate snub - and a way to push the Captain further out of the limelight.

And then - for the final preseason game against Washington - Tortorella makes Chris a healthy scratch. And Torts offers no explanation to the media about why he did this. Chris Drury spent the game up in the press box for the game - and looked quite unhappy about it.

What's wrong? We can only guess at this point. But John Tortorella is a coach who likes to be in charge. He's brought in a bunch of new players and is trying to rapidly and totally change the team culture. Chris was a major lynch pin of Tom Renney's team - the old Rangers - and he has been a vocal and visible presence. Is Tortorella trying to make a point? Is he trying to show who's boss?

At this point - we just don't know. But unfortunately - there seems to be trouble brewing between the Captain and the Coach.

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