How far will the Rangers get this season?

Buying Out Drury No Longer An Option, Is Wolski Gone?

The Rangers planned to start the process of buying out the final year of Chris Drury’s contract today, which would have given the team considerable cap savings heading into the summer.

However, thanks to a knee injury that is apparently far more severe than anyone realized, the NY Post’s Larry Brooks reports that the Blueshirts will be unable to remove Drury’s contract from the books.

A clause in the CBA prevents teams from buying out players that are medically unable to play, and it’s expected that Drury wouldn’t pass a physical thanks to a degenerative knee condition. 

So it seems as though Drury’s bloated $7.05 million cap hit will remain on the books, although the Rangers still may be able to expunge it eventually.  If Drury fails a physical at training camp, the Rangers can place him on LTIR provided they are a full $7.05 million over the salary cap at that point.  That won’t be an easy feat considering the Rangers’ chances at Brad Richards seem to be dwindling and the team was unable to reach the threshold that would have allowed them to place Vinny Prospal and Alex Frolov on LTIR this year. 

The other possibility, surmised by Blue Seat Blogs, is that Drury will simply go the route of Markud Naslund and retire.  Given his health and typical selflessness, this could now be a logical outcome, although Brooks’ report doesn’t indicate that Drury is considering that option.

The buyout period begins today when teams must place buyout candidates on unconditional waivers before purchasing the remainder of their contracts tomorrow. 

Drury, 34, is set to enter the final year of the five-year, $35.25 million contract he signed in 2007.  His career has fallen off track thanks to age and injuries, including several concussions, and he didn’t score his first goal of the season until game #82.

Buying out Drury would have provided the Rangers with $3.33 million in cap savings this year as his cap hit would have been reduced to $3.7 million.  The buyout would have added a cap hit of $1.66 million to the books for Drury in 2012.

Buying out Drury would have given the Rangers plenty of money to re-sign all of their own free agents and be active on the free agent market. 

With buying out Drury no longer an option, it appears more likely that Wojtek Wolski will be a goner.  The original thinking was that Drury would be bought out this week and then the Rangers would see where they were at later this summer and if need be, buy out Wolski during the second buyout period after arbitration.

Now the Rangers are up against it with the salary cap and unless they’ve been assured that Drury will retire, they may be forced to cut ties with Wolski to provide cap relief.

Wolski has one year left on his deal with a cap hit of $3.8 million and buying out his contract would save $3.33 million.  Wolski’s cap hit would drop to $466k and he’d be on the books for $666k in 2012. 

Wolski arrived in a mid-season trade from Phoenix for Michal Rozsival but was extremely inconsistent during his brief time with the Blueshirts.


Season Review:

Breaking Down The Defense >

Breaking Down The Goalies >

Breaking Down The Offense >

Breaking Down The Prospects >

How Three Free Agent Signings In 2007 Have Shaped The Eastern Conference >

Spotlight On Glen Sather >

Spotlight On John Tortorella >

Rangers Land Tim Erixon: What Does It Mean?

More Erixon Trade Fallout >

What The Rangers Can Learn From The Bruins > 

Rangers Will Face Stiff Competition  In The East In 2011-2012 >


Player Reviews:

Spotlight On Mats Zuccarello >

Spotlight On Brian Boyle >

Spotlight On Matt Gilroy >

Spotlight On Ruslan Fedotenko >

Spotlight On Brandon Prust >

Spotlight On Bryan McCabe >

Spotlight On Alex Frolov >

Spotlight On Michael Del Zotto >

Spotlight On Martin Biron >

Spotlight On Brandon Dubinsky >

Spotlight On Marc Staal >

Spotlight On Steve Eminger >

Spotlight On Henrik Lundqvist >

Spotlight On Wojtek Wolski >

Spotlight On Sean Avery >

Spotlight On Dan Girardi >

Spotlight On Erik Christensen >

Spotlight On Ryan McDonagh >

Spotlight On Vinny Prospal >

Spotlight On Derek Stepan >

Spotlight On Marian Gaborik >

Spotlight On Chris Drury >

Spotlight On Artem Anisimov >

Spotlight On Mike Sauer >

Spotlight On Ryan Callahan >


Free Agency:

Plan A: Sign Brad Richards >

Plan B: Trade For A Top Center >

Posted by Kevin Baumer | June 17, 2011 at 09:37 am

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