Chris Drury of the New York Rangers is coming off a season where injury limited him to just 24 regular season games. A broken finger and then a damaged knee that required arthroscopic surgery saw him return for the Rangers' last regular season win over New Jersey. He managed to play limited minutes in the first-round series loss to the Washington Capitals, where he mostly seemed to be deployed to win faceoffs.
The former Hobey Baker and Calder Trophy winner is an old, beat-up 34 years old at this point in his career. He turns 35 in August and still has a year left on his $7.05 million contract.
He's the team captain and played a valuable defensive role for the Rangers and the US Olympic team two seasons ago. He led all league forwards in blocked shots, had a very useful 52.9 percent success rate in the faceoff circle and was the Rangers' leading faceoff artist, taking 1,206 of them.
Drury was not only a key checking forward in New York, but he was considered by some as one of the league's best defensive forwards.
So Drury is a quality veteran checking center returning from injury with one of the most untradeable salaries in hockey. The offensive component of his game, never overwhelming, appears to have evaporated. All these factors will make him hard, if not impossible, to move
Two short years ago, the New York Rangers had three of the most untradeable contracts in hockey on their roster. After trading Scott Gomez to the Montreal Canadiens for a defensive prospect and sequestering Wade Redden in the minors, only Chris Drury remains.
Before they managed to do that, I would have guessed they'd never get rid of Chris Drury's contract. Now it's impossible to say that definitively.
I believe Glen Sather might just pull off a third miracle and move that crazy contract. That would give Sather and the Rangers a chance to sign a real first-line offensive center to play with Marion Gaborik and unlock all of his considerable offensive potential.
Assuming that premise, I have assembled a list of destinations, from least likely to most likely, I would look for Chris Drury to end up in.