Tag:Chris Drury
Posted on: September 12, 2011 11:41 am
Edited on: September 12, 2011 11:58 am

Rangers name Ryan Callahan new captain

By Brian Stubits

The New York Rangers have made their selection to replace Chris Drury as the team's next captain, giving Ryan Callahan the honor of wearing the C. Marc Staal and newcomer Brad Richards were selected as the alternates.

"Ryan Callahan embodies all the leadership qualities we seek from our Captain," Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather said. "He leads by example with courage and tireless work ethic on and off the ice, which is why he is so deserving of this honor."

Callahan was the odds-on favorite to take over the lead role. He has been wearing the A since October of 2009. There was some wondering if Richards would be considered, but based on the fact he hasn't dressed in a Rangers sweater on the ice yet, his shot seemed long.

Born in Rochester, N.Y., Callahan is the second straight American-born captain for the Blueshirts after Drury, who hails from Connecticut, held the title. Callahan is only the third American to be named captain of the Rangers.

"It's a privilege & an honor ... I'll approach it the same as wearing the A ... it's a bit of a surreal feeling," Callahan said.

Callahan had his best point total last season despite playing in only 60 games for New York. He scored 23 goals and had 25 assists all while suffering through a broken hand mid-season and a broken ankle that ended his season in Game 79.

At just 26 years old, Callahan has the chance to wear the C for a long time to come, starting with the next three years after signing an extension with the Rangers this offseason.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: September 5, 2011 1:44 pm
Edited on: September 5, 2011 1:47 pm

Stamkos still enjoys playing summer baseball

StamkosBaseballBy: Adam Gretz

Tampa Bay Lightning forward Steven Stamkos has scored 96 goals over the past two seasons, and is already one of the most dangerous offensive players in the NHL at the age of 21. Earlier this offseason his production over the first three seasons of his career resulted in a brand new five-year, $37.5 million contract with the Lightning.

The fame that comes with being one of the top players in the league, as well as the brand new pay check, hasn't stopped him from spending his summer playing in a "beer league" baseball league in his hometown of Markhem, Ontario, where Stamkos buys uniforms, bats and picks up the post-game bar tabs.

Dave Feschuk of the Toronto Star checked out a game this past week, and the reviews of Stamkos' baseball skills are almost as glowing as the ones usually reserved for his ability on the ice.

From the Star:
For the 21-year-old Stamkos, who played on three provincial championship baseball teams for the Markham Mariners from about age 11 to 13, the grand old game has long been a passion.

“He could have been better at baseball than hockey,” said Adam Velocci.

“His dad wanted him to play baseball, but he loves hockey,” said Velocci, the Green Beys' third baseman who also played on those championship squads.

Said Chris Stamkos, Steven's father: “Steven was smaller when he was young. Although he was good in hockey, I did think he had more natural instincts in baseball ... But then he grew, and he got more serious with hockey.”

Whatever talents he may have had -- or still has -- for baseball, hockey fans, and especially Tampa Bay fans, have to be happy he started following the path he's currently on. Feschuk also points out that NHL players have to get written consent from their team to take part in certain offseason activities, including baseball, and that consent is usually given.

Stamkos, who plays left field, is apparently hitting .608 on the season and clubbed a three-run homer the night Feschuk attended.

Some other notable hockey-baseball connections: You may have heard a thing or two (in every single game he played) about Chris Drury's appearance in the Little League World Series, while it's pretty common for hockey players that share a city with a big league baseball team to take their hacks in the batting cage. A couple of years ago Penguins captian Sidney Crosby knocked one out of PNC Park in Pittsburgh, while new Phoenix Coyotes goaltender Mike Smith managed to do the same back in June.

(H/T The Big Lead, via PHT)

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.

Posted on: August 20, 2011 12:13 pm
Edited on: August 20, 2011 12:21 pm

Daily Skate: A call to ban all body contact

By: Adam Gretz

JUST ELIMINATE EVERYTHING: An editorial penned by Ken Gray of the Ottawa Citizen talks about what NHL commissioner Gary Bettman should do if he were really brave to cut down on the number of head injuries, and brings up the possibility of banning all hits to the head, fighting and, yes, even body contact. I'm pretty sure that's never going to happen. I will, however, admit that there may come a point where fighting and/or hits to the head get banned completely, but all body contact just doesn't seem possible -- or likely -- for the NHL game.

CHICAGO'S BACKUP GOALTENDER COMPETITION: Chris Kuc of the Chicago Tribune looked at the Blackhawks backup goaltender competition last week that will involve youngster Alexander Salak and veteran Ray Emery, who will be appearing in camp on a tryout contract. Corey Crawford, a rookie last season, is penciled in as the starter after a promising debut season and strong performance in his first playoff appearance.

NEW YORK STILL ON THE HOOK FOR DRURY BUYOUT: Chris Drury announced his retirement on Friday, and as Brian Stubits mentioned in his post on the subject, Drury's buyout from earlier this summer still counts against the Rangers' salary cap over the next two seasons. Joe Fortunato at Blueshirt Banter has some thoughts on that, and figures it was unavoidable since Drury probably wasn't planning on retiring when the Rangers bought him out.

AEBISCHER GETS A TRYOUT WITH WINNIPEG Former NHL goaltender David Aebischer will be getting a tryout contract with the Winnipeg Jets in training camp this season, but as Ed Tait of the Winnipeg Free Press writes, he's an extreme long shot to make the team with Ondrej Pavelec and Chris Mason already on the roster. He last appeared in the NHL during the 2007-08 season with the Phoenix Coyotes, and has spent the last four seasons in Switzerland.

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: August 19, 2011 11:38 am
Edited on: August 19, 2011 1:44 pm

Chris Drury announces retirement after 12 seasons

By Brian Stubits

Chris Drury is retiring from hockey. He made the announcement through the NHLPA on Friday morning.

Drury, the Rangers captain, was bought out by New York and didn't find work after that. There had to be concerns about the degenerative condition in his knee that limited him to only 24 games last season and one goal.

Drury's best season came in 2006-07 with the Sabres. That season he scored 37 goals and had 32 assists.

He was also on hand for some of the Avalanche's best seasons, playing his first four years in the NHL in Colorado until 2001-02, winning the Stanley Cup with the Avs in '01. The following year he was traded to Calgary where he had a short stint with the Flames.

Adrian Dater of the Denver Post offers up a fond farewell to one of the key parts to the Avs' Cup run. Here's a taste:

Drury was beloved by Avs fans, even after he left in that ill-advised trade to Calgary in 2002. He was a heart-and-soul guy with a major knack for scoring clutch goals. At one point I remember writing, he had eight game-winning or overtime playoff goals with Colorado.

It hardly seems possible his career is finished. I can still remember the first time he came to Avs camp back in 1998, just a doughy-faced kid not that far removed from being a Little League World Series hero for his town of Trumbull, Conn. I remember his first Burgundy-White game down in Colorado Springs, when he immediately got challenged to a fight by Pascal Trepanier. Drury aced his first rite of passage by standing up for himself – something almost every NHL rookie has to do at some point.

He ended up in Buffalo and had a very strong three seasons with the Sabres. At that point, though, he became a free agent and signed with the Rangers, his hometown team considering his roots stem from Trumbull, Conn. When Jaromir Jagr left the Blueshirts, Drury was bestowed the C on his jersey, making him just the second American-born captain in Rangers history.

NHL writer Andy Strickland says this was a decision Drury knew was coming for some time. "Chris Drury has known he would be retiring for several weeks ... had a great career who delivered when it mattered." Strickland also shot down any notions that Drury had been in discussions with the Maple Leafs at any point about playing in Toronto. "There was speculation several weeks ago that Drury had met with Toronto GM Brian Burke...tis was 100% wrong ... never happened "

Unfortunately, such an injury made the decision somewhat easy for Drury to make -- from a decision standpoint, not emotional.

Because he had two years left on his contract, the Rangers will have Drury hitting the cap over that time. According to capgeek.com that will mean the Rangers will take a $3.72 million hit next season and a $1.67 million hit in 2012-13.

Among the reactions on Twitter came this tweet from Rangers backup goalie Marty Biron: "Congrats to a friend and teammate on a great career. Chris Drury, you'll always be one of the best captain I've had the chance to play with."

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @BrianStubitsNHL on Twitter.

Posted on: August 9, 2011 7:03 pm
Edited on: August 9, 2011 9:34 pm

Could Richards be the next Rangers captain?

RichardsBy: Adam Gretz

It wasn't a surprise that one the biggest names on the free agent market this summer -- Brad Richards -- landed with the New York Rangers. By now we should pretty much expect it to play out that way. It's not the first time it's happened, and it certainly won't be the last. Some of their recent dips into the deep end of free agency pool, including Chris Drury, Scott Gomez, Wade Redden and Marian Gaborik, has produced some mixed results (to put it kindly), and not the type of return a team generally likes to see on its largest investment (and I think Richards will prove to be, by far, the best of these signings).

Richards, one of the NHL's best playmaking pivots, signed a nine-year, $60 million deal in early July, and brings with him a $6.6 million cap hit through the end of the 2019-20 season. He's a No. 1 center that's managed to produce like one over his career with Tampa Bay and Dallas. He also has a positive history with current Rangers coach John Tortorella, who he played under for most of his tenure with the Lighting, including the Stanley Cup season of 2003-04 where Richards took home the Conn Smythe Trophy as playoff MVP.

That history, along with Richards' track record, has sparked some discussion in Ranger-land that the 31-year-old Richards could take over as the teams next captain before the puck drops on the upcoming season. Andrew Gross of the Bergen Record (via Crash The Crease) wrote on Tuesday that the Rangers have three potential options to wear the "C" this season: returning players Ryan Callahan and Marc Staal, and the incoming Richards.

Writes Gross:
Tortorella was asked June 30 – two days before the team signed Richards – about his selection process for the new captain. "I think those decisions will come about come camp," Tortorella said. "We’ll have our talks, we’ll see. Maybe our team changes even more this summer, along the way." That last sentence could be interpreted as a vote in Richards’ favor. Or perhaps not, as Tortorella has no inclination to discuss exactly what his selection process entailed. Callahan said when he agreed to his new contract that, regardless of who wore the captain’s "C," there was strong leadership in the room. And he may be the fan’s choice. But Richards could be the coach’s choice.
The Rangers are in need of a new captain because their most recent captain, Drury, was bought out earlier this summer after a 2010-11 season that saw him score one goal in a 24-game, injury-shortened season.

Tortorella took over behind Tampa Bay's bench midway through Richards' rookie season in 2000-01, and coached him up until the trade that sent him to Dallas in the middle of the 2007-08 season. There's a great deal of familiarity here (on and off the ice) and plenty of success, both on an individual and a team level, between the two men to make the potential captaincy a logical fit.

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @EyeOnHockey and @agretz on Twitter.
Posted on: June 29, 2011 10:08 am
Edited on: June 29, 2011 12:38 pm

Rangers buy out captain Drury's final season

For a few weeks, it has been clear the Rangers wanted to get rid of captain Chris Drury and his big contract. The only question was if they could, considering Drury is dealing with a knee issue that could keep him out all next season and CBA rules prohibit buyouts of injured players.

But Drury has elected to go along with the Rangers' plans, neglecting to apply for a medical exception, the New York Post reports.

That means Drury will become an unrestricted free agent up for grabs on Friday. You have to wonder how much interest there will be, but a reunion with the Sabres is a possibility, Larry Brooks of the Post suggests.

The Rangers, meanwhile, will be cap-charged approximately $3.717 million for the buyout this season and $1.667 million next year, though the obligation for 2012-13 could be erased pending negotiations of a new labor agreement.

Because Drury had a no-move clause in his contract, he was able to elect not to go on unconditional waivers preceding the buyout.

The captain was gracious in bowing out, responding to the Post with a statement via email.

"It was a great honor and privilege to be a New York Ranger for the past four years, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to fulfill that childhood dream," Drury said in a statement that was sent to the Post by email. "The Rangers are a first-class organization with great people in the hockey, public relations, team services and community relations departments.

"I would also like to thank Ranger fans. They always inspired me to do the best I could in whatever role I was asked to play. Playing before them in the Garden was a thrill of a lifetime. I wish all the fans and the entire Ranger organization the best of luck in the future."

Drury played very little for the Rangers last season, scoring just one goal with four assists in 24 games because of a broken finger and knee surgery.

-- Brian Stubits

Photo: Getty Images

For more hockey news, rumors and analysis, follow @cbssportsnhl on Twitter or @BrianStubitsNHL

Posted on: June 9, 2011 1:19 pm
Edited on: June 20, 2011 1:37 pm

Report: Rangers to buy out Drury's final season

The Rangers are planning to buy out the final season of team captain Chris Drury's contract, according to a report in the New York Daily News. The source of the report was rather succinct in his/her words: "He's gone."

Beginning next Wednesday is the NHL's timeframe for contract buyouts leading up to free agency on July 1. New York owes Drury one more season on his five-year, $35.25 million deal. What shedding his contract from the books would do is save the Blueshirts $3.3 million against next season's salary cap, which is expected to go up a couple million dollars as it is, and will hit the following season's cap by $1.6 million.

The Rangers captain's production went way down last season, playing in 24 games because of injury and being held to only one goal and four assists.

New York has a few decisions to make on the restricted free-agent scene with seven guys on the roster, including up-and-comers Ryan Callahan and Brandon Dubinsky. Then attention will turn to the open market, where they are certain to chase Brad Richards.

-- Brian Stubits

Posted on: April 5, 2011 1:16 pm
Edited on: April 5, 2011 3:50 pm

Ryan Callahan has broken ankle, out indefinitely

New York Ranges forward Ryan Callahan is out  indefinitely with a broken right ankle, an injury sustained when he got in front of a shot by  Boston Bruins defenseman Zdeno Chara in the third period of Monday's game.

"It's long-term," Rangers coach John Tortorella told reporters on Tuesday. 

Callahan is the Rangers' second-leading scorer this season with 23 goals and 25 assists. He missed 19 games this season with a broken hand after blocking a shot against the Pittsburgh Penguins

The Rangers have yet to clinch a playoff spot, but their 5-3 victory over Boston on Monday did make them a little more secure. They are in seventh place entering play Tuesday, four points ahead of ninth-place Carolina. 

Matt Gilroy will move from defense up to win to fill in for Callahan in the interim, according to The New York Daily News. The team also announced that it was sending defenseman Kris Newbury back to the AHL. 

Meanwhile, winger Chris Drury continues his rehab from February knee surgery, although there's no clear indication when he might be able ot return to the lineup. 

-- A.J. Perez
Photo: Getty Images

The views expressed in this blog are solely those of the author and do not reflect the views of CBS Sports or CBSSports.com