Wednesday, May 5, 2021

Chris Drury Autographed Card

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What a year for the New York Rangers!

They bought out future Hall Of Famer Henrik Lundqvist to make room for two rookies in net, told Tony DeAngelo to stay home, had Mika Zibanejad take two months to recover from COVID-19, which also forced head coach David Quinn miss six games, and superstar Artemi Panarin missed a fair chunk of the season as well, dealing with (possibly politically-motivated) problems in Russia, yet the team was in the playoff picture until today.

Today is a weird day, culminating with the nomination of Chris Drury as President and General Manager of the team, after serving as assistant-GM for a handful of seasons; John Davidson and Jeff Gorton, respectively, were relieved of their functions today, a day after distancing themselves from a tweet that I fully endorse and support, myself:
Honestly, Tom Wilson should have been suspended for at least 10 games for what he did to Panarin, who will not play again this season. If your owner has the balls to call the player and the NHL's Director Of Player Safety, George Parros, out, you should have the principle that standing up for your player against an unpunished criminal action is the only right thing to do.

(edit: distancing themselves from the team's statement seems to have hurried the announcement, but many sources now confirm divergence of opinions on the state of the team's rebuild and roster priorities would have seen both men lose their jobs before the next draft anyhow).

It's a safe bet Davidson will return to his previous job as President of the Columbus Blue Jackets, I just hope that doesn't mean their own GM Jarmo Kekalainen will not be in constant danger of losing his own job to Gorton.

As for Drury, after a decorated career as a hockey player that included a Calder Trophy (1998-99), a Stanley Cup (2000-01), and the captaincy of both the Rangers and Buffalo Sabres, his turn as an executive has also yielded impressive results so far, with a successful run as GM of the Rangers' AHL affiliate Hartford Wolf Pack (2017-21) and for Team USA at the 2019, 2020 (cancelled) and 2021 World Championships, where he had rpeviously served as assistant-GM (2015-2017).

Here he is wearing the Sabres' black (away) uniform (1996-2006) on card #9 from Upper Deck's 2003-04 SP Authentic collection:
He signed it in blue sharpie near the end of his playing career with the Rangers.

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