The New York Rangers will be without their $7 million, 14-goal scoring captain for the next four weeks after he blocked a shot during a scrimmage this afternoon and broke a finger. The time-table to return will be about a month-long, and will cause Drury to miss the first few games of the regular season, which begins for the Rangers on October 9 in Buffalo.
Regarding the injury, Marian Gaborik said, “[This is] not good news…it’s frustrating, but it is what it is…we’ll have to manage without him for a while.” He later noted, “[Drury] is definitely big part of our team…we are going to miss him, but will have to manage best we can without him.”
Drury was most likely going to be the Rangers third line center this season, after losing his duties in an offensive role towards the end of his disastrous campaign last season, which resulted in career lows in goals (14), assists (18), and points (32), and only the second time in his eleven year career that he failed to reach 20 goals. He was also relegated to fourth line duty, a spot which he thrived under late in the season.
This may be a blessing in disguise for the Rangers, as even though Drury is a more than adequate penalty killer and defensive forward, we may get to see an extended look at Derek Stepan, one of the Rangers top prospects at center. He was going to get a long look during camp and the pre-season anyway, but he may actually start the season with the big club. Should he perform well, the Rangers will have a second dilemma on their hands, with the first being what to do with Wade Redden.
Today on Puck Daddy, Ryan Lambert stated, in essence, that there is no way that Redden is going to play in Hartford, but this seems to be just speculation on his part and not based on any inside information. Rangers fans will still wait with bated breath to learn the fate of the defenseman whose contract has a stranglehold on their salary cap situation.
In the meantime, the Rangers have announced the signing of this guy: