And yet you gave Drury a C/C-, which would imply that he's producing at or just below his salary level.
The guy gives effort. That's what gets lost. He sacrifices and plays hurt. All the wear and tear is starting to show and that's a sign of diminished skills. If this organization had balls which they don't, they'd tell Drury to take the rest of the year so he can be 100 percent this Fall. But now that they won 2 straight/3 of 4, they're unlikely to fall out. So, it's moot. The problem is we have too much a tendency to just look at the salary. Is it Drury's fault Bozo The Clown gave him and Scott Gomez ridiculous deals? Redden's is far worse and the Genius refuses to admit error. Dru was coming off a career year on a very good club with the kind of players needed for him to produce. He will never have that here.
Even my favorite Ranger Callahan doesn't have much skill and is cut out of the same mold. I love the way he plays but wonder if it's conducive to a long career.There just isn't much here. When they traded Dawes and Prucha for Morris last year, I disliked it bc no way were they winning a round. Dawes could've been a decent player but they soured on him. Pru was never the same due to the Renney treatment. While neither's a difference maker, they were the kind of complementary wings who may have worked. It's ancient history but the line Dru played on with Dawes and Cally when they KO'd the Devs was cohesive bc they were a solid two-way line that could cycle. As for Pru, he never should've been less than a third liner. Exactly what he is on an overachieving Phoenix club hell bent on proving everyone wrong. They kind of remind me of us in '05-06 but minus Jagr. Everyone contributing and Vezina caliber goaltending from Bryzgalov.
When constructing a team, it's about having a plan. What exactly is it? It seems like every year, the roster changes. Is it any coincidence they haven't been the same since '07-08? Even if that team handled the Devs, they were no match for the Cindy/Geno Pens who just had too much skill once Hossa was added. Even if it gets me that his OT winner was offside. Btw...nice comeback from 2 down started by Korpikoski (Dawes tied it). Another young kid who was supposed to get a shot but was screwed over. What's the difference between him and Lisin? We haven't seen the skills he has. Korp could at least shift from wing to center and would've saved them a 3rd rd pick on <gulp> Boyle. The whole Betts-Orr/Huggy Bear thing is beaten to death. That's on Tort. Ironic that the same day he's on waivers, Betts re-ups. I'm not saying I'd have re-signed him. Korp could've filled the role. Instead, they wasted a 3rd rounder on a slug who can't skate and rarely uses his size. And has another year. Why??? And of course only Slats could give a washed up fighter like Brashear AKA Public Enemy No.1 two years at 1.4 per. You can't do that with a cap because every dollar counts.
Back to the original topic. Was Drury bad the first two years? He's never been a superstar with oodles of talent but rather a guy who got the most of his ability through hard work. Unfortunately, that style can take a toll. They shouldn't have gone more than three years with an option for a fourth. Unless it's a super duper star who you know what you're getting, long-term deals are high risks in a cap. There are only a handful of guys I'd pay top dollar and go all in on. You know their names. As for Dru's first two years on Broadway, here you go:
Everything's down. Most notably assists, PPG bc he rarely plays and shooting percentage has dropped a little each season. In Year One, Drury was third in points behind Jagr and Gomez while pacing the club in PPG and GW. His 29 PP Pts also tied with Jags and Gomez for the team lead. Last year, his 56 points ranked third trailing co-leaders Gomez and Zherdev (58 each). The 22 goals tied with Cally for third behind Naslund (24) and Zherdev (23). Nobody had more PPG or PP Pts (20) on that inept squad. Yet the coach uses him sparingly. He scored 22 PPG and 49 PP Pts his first two years...It's well documented that he played with a broken finger last Spring, scoring a winner in six games.
Drury is 33 and turns 34 in late August. It's easy to conclude he's not worth the 7.05 M cap hit but also easy to forget that he was good the first two years. Why? Because in NYC, it's all about NOW. We've had a lot of history with underachievers not living up to contracts. Bobby Holik tops the list. His two years here, the team sucked. Remember how much they paid him to outbid the Devils, Leafs and Flyers? 8.5...He was never going to come close because he was the same type of player. Year 2 wasn't bad. He led the club in four offensive categories and played all 82 while Lindros was a shell and Messier took away all Lundmark's ice-time. That was always an issue. I love Mess but his 2nd Ranger stint was a joke. It was always the same song and dance. He'll take a "lesser role." Until the season started...Why was Holik so despised? Simple enough:
A.He was a Devil.
If you play for the enemy, that's bad enough. But when you run your mouth on top of it, you seal your fate. Drury does neither. So, following the lockout, Slats actually bit the bullet and bought out Holik rebuilding the team by surrounding Jagr with his buddies (Straka, Nylander, Rucinsky, Prucha, Malik, Rozsival). The reason it worked was because the role players also mattered. Guys like Betts, Ortmeyer, Moore, J. Ward, Rucchin and even Hollweg were made to feel important. That was Tom Renney's strength. He wasn't a great coach but his team concept worked, getting the most out of those teams until they tuned him out. But the roster had also changed dramatically. He then backed off the up-tempo change he started with, inviting opposition. Tortorella was brought in and squeezed every ounce out of a talentless bunch getting them in. Lundqvist stood on his head for 4 games but eventually caved in. And that was with Redden actually playing better.
Tort is different. It's his way or the highway. He doesn't really have defined roles which hurts secondary players. There's way too much line changing. The cap situation doesn't help with this team for way too long carrying only 6 D and not even considering placing Tinman on waivers to designate to Hartford. What did Heineken or Sangs do wrong in their brief stints? Even Potter, who was decent last year got shafted. Mike Sauer's long link will be another failure to the Leetch deal. Partially injuries and partially mismanagement. Renney was guilty of not just ruining Prucha but running Immonen out of town when he may have been a decent third line center. But he wasn't a "good enough skater," So, he went home and that was probably our most talented player in that deal. Korp got 1 yr. And wasn't Max Kondratiev in it too but then moved for Sykora? Wow. Baranka was another one who never saw the light of day and left for the KHL.
With this team, you just never know their thinking. Signing Cullen was decent bc he had speed and played hard. But then, they signed/overpaid for 2 more centers and didn't realize what they had in Dubinsky. Sure. He's overrated by a few but a solid player. Bringing in Gomez might've been good in theory bc the team lacked a playmaking pivot but he's such an airhead. You can't bring a guy with that blah persona in. Of course, it could be quite different if Cherepanov were still around. They had so much invested in him. Poor kid. :-( Now, it's wait and see until the next batch (Stepan, Kreider, Bourque, McDonagh, Hagelin, Werek, Horak, Kundratek, Claussen) are fully ready.
I know this is an awfully long post which addresses a lot more issues than our cap/what players should be graded on. But it was done to illustrate what's been wrong for a while under the Dolan/Sather regime. A legacy which has produced 2 series wins in a decade. That's it. When is enough enough?