New York Rangers: Chris Drury Silences Critics

Greg CaggianoSenior Writer IAugust 13, 2009

This October, Chris Drury will begin his second season as captain of the New York Rangers and third season overall. His first two years on Broadway have not been impressive—they include two early postseason exits and two average showings in the stat column.

Drury was never a superstar in all his years with Colorado, Calgary, and Buffalo; he never scored more then 37 goals and not once did he crack the 70-point mark. He did win a Stanley Cup with Colorado, however, and has always come through in tight situations making him garner the nickname "Captain Clutch."

When he was signed to a five-year deal worth over $35 million, Ranger fans instantly thought that he would morph into a superstar just because of the paycheck, but how often does that happen? Well, never.

In a conversation with fellow writer Joe Alianello, Drury said something that always seems to hold true with Rangers fans, "People think when a player becomes a Ranger that means he will transform into a superstar, that his career highs will be smashed."

If it were not for his contract, fans may give him a free pass; but when you earn the big bucks in New York and fail to bring playoff success, you will become the center of negative attention. Drury has not been amazing in his first two seasons with the Rangers, but the numbers he has put up are indicative of his career averages.

The next point that always seems to come up in conversations is Drury's position as captain. Ranger fans were spoiled during the years of Mark Messier, when this team had a loud, vocal captain who wasn't afraid to speak his mind in any situation.

We know of this because his personality is such, and what former teammates have told the media. But what do we know of Chris Drury? Fellow players always seem to laud him as an excellent leader, but why do fans always seem to give him a hard time? He has been called quiet and has been bashed by the fan base for being a poor leader.

The reason for this attack is because of Drury's calm and quiet composure. I never had any doubt in his leadership capabilities and after his latest interview with MSG Network's Stan Fischler, my thoughts were sealed.

"I find that from time to time there are misconceptions about the way fans think players behave, or should behave, behind the scenes; as in the dressing room," he said.

"Take the issue of yelling. Some people have this misconception that in this day and age if you're not a loudmouth jerk, that means you're 'quiet.' As far as I'm concerned, in my role as captain, when something needs to be said, I'll say it."

As far as I am concerned, Drury just shut up all of his critics who call him quiet. The captain of the New York Rangers may seem calm, he may not put up the superstar numbers, but he brings the intangibles: the skills in the face off circle, the shot blocking ability—all the little things that don't register on the score sheet. Keep that in mind when this new season begins in October.

Greg Caggiano is a writer on Bleacher Report covering the New York Rangers. He has a New York area sports teams blog called Metro-Sports, where you can read great articles about all professional sports teams that play in the area by a dedicated team of young writers.