37-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Chris Drury Contract Information:
Contract bought out by the Rangers in June of 2011.
Drury announced his retirement Friday, James Mirtle of the Globe & Mail reports.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
There was no outlook written for Chris Drury.
It has been a steady decline for the veteran forward since joining the Rangers. After posting career highs for the Sabres in 2006-07 with 37 goals and 69 points, Drury has put up just 58, 56 and 32 points in his last three years for the Rangers. Drury is likely to find himself on the third line for the Rangers this year, which means he will probably hover around the 40-point range. With the acquisitions of Alex Frolov and Todd White, Drury will likely lose most of the power play ice time he used to receive, so donít expect any bonus in that category. Unfortunately for Drury, blocking shots, penalty killing and sportsmanship donít count in fantasy hockey, so it would be best to avoid the Blueshirts captain come draft day.
A 56-point scorer is what suffices for a big gun in New York after last year's offensive struggles. At age 33, Drury may be on the far side of high-level output, but Drury will be an integral part of the Rangers offense this season. With the departure of Gomez and Zherdev, New York will need the veteran winger to return to the form that saw him register 67 and 69 points in Buffalo in 2005 and 2006. While that high of an output may be out of the question, Drury can certainly hold last year's totals steady in the 2009-10 campaign.
Drury finished his first season in New York with 25 goals and 58 points in 82 games. Solid stats but the Rangers and Drury are expecting a little bit more in his sophomore year.
Drury is the other significant piece of this off-seasonís spending spree; he comes to New York as a blue-collar veteran with a history of winning and a knack for the dramatic. He's potted more clutch goals than we can count, but will that be enough to catapult this team to the Stanley cup finals? It certainly looks like it on paper, and he'll likely skate with Brendan Shanahan and Sean Avery to start, as well as log minutes in power-play and penalty killing situations. Drury is projected to go in the mid-rounds and will be a terrific addition to any fantasy roster.
Drury will be sad to see long-time linemate Grier leave for San Jose (the two played in college together also), though we think it may actually be better for Druryís fantasy prospects. Grier was the ultimate teammate, but heís known for the little things and was never much of a pro scorer. Buffalo has plenty of younger, more offensively productively players they can now throw on Druryís second line, such as Jason Pominville, Derek Roy or even Thomas Vanek. Drury was just fine with his first 30-goal season last year (a whopping 16 came on the power play), but expect that assist total of 37 to go up if his regular line has a little more offensive responsibility. A 30-45-75 season isnít out of the question. Drury is 30 years old, about the perfect age for a good all-around season.
Drury found a home in Buffalo in 2003-04, where he took on more of a leadership role and posted a respectable 53 points. Had he not missed six games, he likely would have had his sixth straight 20-goal season. (Drury finished with 18 tallies.) He's found a home on Buffalo's top two lines, often skating with the best scorers while getting plenty of power play time. The only problem is that Buffalo doesn't run a fantasy friendly offense. We'll call him a 25/35/60 guy for the 2005-06 season.
Drury found a home in Buffalo in 2003-04, where he took on more of a leadership role and posted a respectable 53 points. Had he not missed six games, he likely would have had his sixth straight 20-goal season. (Drury finished with 18 tallies.) He's found a home on Buffalo's top two lines, often skating with Miro Satan while getting plenty of power play time. The only problem is that Buffalo doesn't run a fantasy friendly offense. We'll call him a 25/35/60 guy the next time the league plays a full campaign.