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Media Release From The New York Rangers

NEW YORK, May 5, 2021  The New York Rangers announced today that team President John Davidson and General Manager Jeff Gorton are leaving the organization, and Associate General Manager Chris Drury has been promoted to President and General Manager, effective immediately. Senior Advisor Glen Sather will work with Drury during this transition and continue to consult with the team.

”We want to thank JD and Jeff for their contributions to the organization. They are both great hockey professionals who worked hard for the Rangers, however, in order for the team to succeed in the manner our fans deserve, there needs to be a change in leadership,” said James L. Dolan, executive chairman, MSG Sports. “Chris is a very sought-after executive and a strong leader, who has proven himself to be one of the top young minds in hockey. We are confident he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long-term success we promised Rangers fans.”

Currently in his sixth season as part of the Rangers front office, Drury rejoined the organization on September 4, 2015. After serving as the team’s Director of Player Development for the 2015-16 season, he was promoted to Assistant General Manager on September 2, 2016. Drury was promoted to Associate General Manager on February 5, 2021.

Drury has served as the General Manager for the Rangers’ American Hockey League (AHL) affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, since May 16, 2017. In 2019-20, after he helped assemble a new coaching staff in Hartford, the Wolf Pack posted a 31-20-6-5 record in 62 games. Hartford's .589 points percentage in 2019-20 was the best the team posted since the 2014-15 season.

During his time working in the Rangers’ front office, Drury has also assisted in overseeing and evaluating all players at the collegiate level. In addition to his role with the Rangers, he has worked in an executive role at the international level. Drury served as the General Manager for the U.S. Men's National Team at the 2019 IIHF World Championship, was selected to serve in the same capacity for the 2020 IIHF World Championship and will serve in that role for the 2021 IIHF World Championship.

Over his 12-year NHL playing career, the Trumbull, Connecticut native skated in 892 games with the Colorado Avalanche, Calgary Flames, Buffalo Sabres, and the Rangers, registering 255 goals and 360 assists for 615 points. Drury captured the Stanley Cup as a member of the Avalanche in 2000-01, ranking second in the NHL with 11 goals in 23 games during the team’s playoff run. In 1998-99, Drury received the Calder Trophy as the NHL’s Rookie of the Year.

Drury played four seasons with the Rangers (2007-08 – 2010-11) after signing with the team as a free agent on July 1, 2007. In addition, Drury served as the Rangers captain for three seasons (2008-09 - 2010-11) after being named the 25th captain in franchise history – as well as the second American-born captain in franchise history – on October 3, 2008. In 264 regular season games with the Blueshirts, Drury recorded 62 goals and 89 assists for 151 points, along with 116 penalty minutes. Over his first three seasons with the Rangers, Drury led the team in goals (61) and points (146), ranked second in assists (85), and tied for second in game-winning goals (10). In addition, the Rangers made the playoffs three times during Drury’s four seasons with the team.

 

Of the Rangers’ 12 general managers, eight also played at least one game with the franchise (Lester Patrick, Frank Boucher, Muzz Patrick, Emile Francis, Fred Shero, Phil Esposito, Glen Sather, and Drury). Drury becomes the second person in franchise history to play for the Rangers, serve as the Rangers’ captain, and serve as the Rangers’ General Manager (along with Esposito).

Filed in: NHL Teams, New York Rangers, | KK Hockey | Permalink
 

Comments

d ca's avatar

These have to be some of the most coveted jobs in hockey. Big market, cap-room, and a dynamic young core. Look at the talent and ages:

Artemi Panarin (turns 30 in Oct)
Alexis Lafrenière (turns 20 in Oct)
Kaapo Kakko, (turns 21 in Feb)
Vitali Kravtsov (turns 22 in Dec)
Filip Chytil (tuns 22 in Sept)
K’Andre Miller (turns 22 in Jan)
Adam Fox (turns 22 in Feb)
Ryan Lindgren (turns 24 in Feb)
Libor Hajek (turns 24 in Feb)
Igor Shesterkin (26 in Feb)
Alexandar Georgiev (26 in Dec)
Pavel Buchnevich (just turned 26 a few weeks ago)
Mika Zibanejad (just turned 28 a few weeks ago)

and they named Drury as their guy for both? What am I not seeing?

Posted by d ca on 05/06/21 at 01:57 AM ET

Avatar

and they named Drury as their guy for both? What am I not seeing?

A history of over-inflated expectations and knee-jerk reactions.

The Rangers had expectations of making the playoffs this year and that was a good goal but probably not a good the “fish or cut bait” expectation. First, they were expecting too much out of Kakko. Young players take time. Second, COVID put them in a division with Washington (recent Cup winner), Islanders (great coaching - building off good playoff runs), Penguins (Sid & Malkin still there) and Boston (tons of experience and veteran leadership). Even if the Penguins slid, it looked like they were facing a fight with Philly to make it.

Take away COVID and they still would have been fighting because Carolina would have been added to the division mix and they would have been fighting with at least Florida and Montreal for the wildcard.

So, they pretty much did as SHOULD have been expected. They showed areas of improvement. Transitioned to young goalies and were in the fight for a playoff spot until just recently. It is simply not that unusual for a young team to take a step back after making the playoffs before making it again.

There may have been some philosophical differences (ie too much finess, not enough grit) or ownership really wasn’t thrilled with the press statement.

Drury has been learning the ropes but seems a bit extreme to name him GM and president. But it is a pretty ideal situation. But what happens if they fail to make the playoffs next season?

Posted by evileye on 05/06/21 at 02:47 PM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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