File this under ‘take with a grain of salt’, but the New York Daily News reports that Glen Sather is likely to buyout to the final year of captain Chris Drury’s contract. Drury has one year remaining on a five-year pact signed back in 2007 which would see him come in at a cap hit of $7,050,000. The 2010-11 season was an injury plagued campaign for the 34-year old, he appeared in just 24 games due to finger and knee injuries.
According to CapGeek, the buyout cap hit for Drury in 2011-12 would be $3,716,667 while costing the Rangers another $1,666,667 in 2012-13. That’s a significant expenditure just to make someone go away. There is also word from Jesse Spector at the NY Daily News that Wojtek Wolski may be another candidate for a buyout, which would cut another $3,333,333 from the Rangers payroll for next season.
Could buyouts for Drury and Wolski be the first step in the pursuit of Brad Richards? In the grand scheme of things, that’s a strong possibility, but the Rangers also have to find room to sign RFAs Brandon Dubinsky and Ryan Callahan to new deals. Both will be looking for significant pay raises from their respective $1.85 million and $2.3 million 2010-11 price tags.
A buyout may be what’s best for Chris Drury, a former Hobey Baker Award winner and Calder Trophy recipient, as a clean slate with a new team would mollify the heavy expectations associated with his inflated salary. The window for teams to complete a buyout runs from June 15-30.