Drury Leaning Towards Buyout?

According to the New York Post, Rangers captain Chris Drury may accept his proposed buyout afterall.

When general manager Glen Sather first told the 34-year-old forward of the organization’s plans to buy him out, Drury said he was unable to play next season due to chronic knee problems. Under the CBA, players unable to perform cannot be bought out, but rather can be placed on Long-term Injured Reserve.

That, according to the Post, has changed, as Drury is now leaning towards a buyout. The deadline is Thursday, but a player must first be placed on waivers for 48 hours, meaning the deadline for Drury is actually this Tuesday.

If Drury accepts the buyout, it would free up $3.3 million in cap space the Rangers can use to sign close to all its RFAs, including Brandon Dubinsky, Ryan Callahan and Artem Anisimov. The remaining $3.7 of Drury’s $7 million salary this season stays on the cap and cannot be moved.

The Rangers would also be on the hook for $1.67 in 2012-13 if the CBA does not change.

“I’m not going to tell you anything about [a buyout] until the time comes,” said Sather following day 2 of the NHL Draft Saturday afternoon. “I haven’t talk to Chris recently; I assume he’s feeling fine.

Pretty good news for Ranger fans, and a smart move for Drury. This should allow the Rangers to make a great offer to Brad Richards come Friday, giving them the first-line center they haven’t had in several years.

Also good for Drury, who’s reputation, at least among several Rangers fans (myself included), would be tarnished had he prevented the organization from buying him out and trying to make the team better.

I always remember back two years ago after Markus Naslund’s poor year in New York. Rather than not make the team and be embarrassed the following year, the Swede opted to retire and give his money back. Classy guy.

Follow me on Twitter @MattCalamiaTHW

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