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With president John Davidson and general manager Jeff Gorton both out of the picture as of Wednesday afternoon following their stunning dismissals, Chris Drury is now in charge of the entire Rangers roster.
After earning a promotion from assistant to associate general manager earlier this season, Drury will now double as the Rangers’ president and general manager.
Drury, 44, has worked his way up through the Rangers organization the past six years. He was named director of player development in September 2015 before he was promoted to assistant general manager the following year. In 2018, Drury added general manager of the team’s AHL affiliate, the Hartford Wolf Pack, to his résumé.
The Rangers signed Drury to a contract extension in March 2019 after he continued to play a major role in bolstering the organization’s once-scarce prospect pool. Drury was a center from 1998-2011, spending the final four seasons of his playing career with the Rangers.
Drury proved his commitment and loyalty to the organization in February, when the Penguins all but proclaimed the former Rangers captain as their top GM candidate. He turned down the Penguins and said he didn’t wish to leave New York. The Rangers rewarded Drury with a new title: associate general manager.
He also withdrew from the Panthers’ GM job opening after just one interview last offseason.
“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,” CEO Jim Dolan said in the team’s official announcement of the change in leadership. “We are confident he will effectively guide the team to ensure the long-term success we promised Rangers fans.”
Former Rangers GM Glen Sather, now senior adviser and alternate governor, will assist Drury through his transition and continue in a consulting role.
A Hobey Baker Award winner at Boston University, where he helped the Terriers to an NCAA title in 1995, Drury was drafted 72nd overall by the Quebec Nordiques (now the Colorado Avalanche) in 1994. He began his NHL career during the 1998-99 season, recording 44 points in his rookie year and winning the Calder Trophy as the league’s top rookie. Drury also won a Stanley Cup with the Avs in 2001.
He became the first player in history to win both the Hobey Baker Award and the Calder Trophy.
After stints with the Flames and Sabres from 2002-07, Drury signed a five-year contract with the Rangers in free agency. He was named captain in October 2008 after the departure of Jaromir Jagr. He also competed on the USA Olympic team that lost to the Canadians in the gold medal game in 2010.
Drury was bought out of the final year of his contract in 2011 after it was announced he had a degenerative condition in his left knee, which forced him to retire.
The Rangers have made it known how highly they value Drury throughout the years. And now, the franchise is hoping he can wrap up the rebuild and turn the team into a consistent Stanley Cup contender.
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