May 05, 2009
When we last left San Jose Sharks GM Doug Wilson, he was ranting and raving about character and responsibility and winning and how this offseason "had better be the worst summer all of us have had." So it's safe to assume there will be some significant changes for the Big Teal Machine.
The focus already is on captain Patrick Marleau, who (rightly or wrongly) has become the poster boy for the franchise's lack of leadership and failure in the clutch. The notion that the Sharks' personality transplant begins with his relocation to another NHL team isn't exactly in the minority.
First, a comparison for the 2008-09 season:
Marleau has been fantastic in the regular season in three of the last four campaigns. As Blueshirt Banter notes in giving Drury at "B-minus" for the season, his point total dropped for the fourth straight season but he continues to do some little things right for the Rangers.
Marleau, 30 next season, has one year left at $6.3 million before becoming a UFA. Drury, 33 next season, is signed through 2012 at a robust $7.05 million cap hit.
The deal would make financial sense for the Rangers, jettisoning a contact that -- in hindsight -- is regrettable, in exchange for a pending UFA. You don't like losing a character guy like Drury; but Marleau in a John Tortorella system could be a revelation, if the pressure of playing in New York doesn't crush his soul.
Drury is a player that Wilson's already pursued before as a general manager. He's captain material; he's a different kind of offensive center than Marleau; and when he's healthy, he's been a dependable playoff performer.
Just to make this clear: Not a rumor, just a bit of hot stove League banter we wanted to toss out there. Maybe this trade makes more sense in theory than in practice. Chances are one or both fan bases won't be happy with it. But on its surface, it makes some sense for both teams.