My intention is not to have a Drury bashing post. We all know and agree that he is overpaid and on the wrong side in terms of career. I like(ed) Drury as a player. I am not in the locker room but from all reports, he is well liked and a good capitan. But it has been increasingly painful that he is not contributing...not according to his salary....but according to his play. According to being past on the depth chart by minor leaguers (borderline career minor leaguers).
We are a grinding team, not some run-and-gun team, yet he cant seem to find a role. This type of team should be a Drury dream team. But with some players when the hit that wall they REALLY hit it, hard. It appears this one is a full on head on collision....costing $7mil. Wish we had the talking snake from Geico to pay for it. So what are the options? Not many...or should I say not many good ones.
Retires - Best case scenario. Drury is a professional. He has won on so many levels, I cant see him being happy with this. That being said, a competitor might look at this as a challenge and try to 'come-back' from this. Or at least try to go out on a semi-high note....which leads me to...
Trade him - Yeah I know NMC, NTC, NGC (No goal clause)....but hear me out. I could see some team thinking that he could help for a playoff run. I could see Drury accepting the fact that this is his last year and wants to go out on fighting. I can't see how this conversations gets started though. What guarantees does the other team have that he will retire. Worth noting that although he does carry a cap hit of $7mil, he is only paid $5mil. Though I doubt any contender really wants that cap hit next year.
Buyout - This seems to be the most likely although we do get hit with that extra year of a partial cap hit...but still less then his full cap hit.
All in all, it's a tough situation. Tough for a player that really has had a good hockey career to go out like this. Tough for management to have this conversation with the team captain. Tough for the fan to watch this unfold under our eyes, mid-season.