The dog days are certainly here and while it can change with the addition of a Jack Eichel, Evgeny Kuznetsov, or Sean Monahan at center. It appears that Chris Drury’s first offseason as an NHL general manager is wrapping up and as with everything else it’s always fun to look at the moves and grade him on what he’s done.
Pavel Buchnevich headlines a group of departures from the Blueshirts this summer. He is far and away the best player to be leaving Broadway and his departure is certainly something the team will feel throughout the 2021-2022 season. Buchnevich was an extremely effective player at even strength and on the powerplay while wearing the Ranger sweater. Moving on from Buchnevich was a bitter pill for a majority of Rangers fans to swallow especially with the return not being what many thought or hoped a first liner like Buchnevich could bring back.
When you look at all the players that Drury has targeted and brought in this summer there is one common theme on the list and that’s toughness. No need to continue to beat a dead horse, the Rangers have made a concerted effort to get tougher and that exactly what Drury went out and did. The biggest addition to the Blueshirts will far and away be the man they tabbed to lead this team and that’s Gerard Gallant. A coach provides just as much of a spark for a club that any on ice addition does and Gallant is most definitely a culture changer. This club won’t be allowed to rest on it’s laurels and unlike the message that David Quinn was sending, Gallant comes in with an NHL track record of success behind his message which makes it that much easier for players to buy in to.
While there hasn’t been much sex appeal behind the moves that Drury has made this summer he’s put out his message and thus far has followed through on his plan. While many may not agree with the hardnosed sentiment the Rangers are lusting for you have to at least commend the rookie GM for setting his plan and sticking with it. It hasn’t been exactly what fans have hoped for but I would have to give Drury a solid B- in his first offseason. He hasn’t handed out any contracts that have made people want to vomit, on the other hand he’s actually done extremely well on the contract extensions that he’s doled out. Trusting his future in net in Igor Shesterkin and signing him to what can become an absolute steal of a deal if Shesterkin’s peak is what we all saw when he was in Russia and the AHL.Embed from Getty Images
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