August 23, 2011

Fischler Report: Drury was 'The Pro's Pro'

By Stan Fischler

Chris Drury racked up 615 points in 892 games throughout his 12 years in the NHL. (Getty) Chris Drury joins the growing list – Mark Recchi, Doug Weight, et. al. – of veterans bidding adieu to the National Hockey League. Never much of an orator, the Trumbull, Conn., native let his on-ice actions do most of the necessary talking. But as his star rose – first in Colorado and later in Buffalo – Chris inevitably had to put his shy disposition aside and play the role of spokesman.

This was particularly true in Manhattan after he became Rangers captain. Invariably, Drury spoke honestly and to the point about his team and mates. Unfortunately, a chain reaction of injuries halted his storied career and after a dozen seasons in The Show, he now gracefully exits to the wings. Surely there's a team out there who can benefit from his services most particularly as an assistant coach.

Whatever his future job may be, Drury will do it with the same devotion and diligence that earned him the title of "The Pro's Pro.”

Gossip

* Much has justifiably been said about Detroit having difficulty filling the space created by subdued-but-excellent Brian Rafalski's trot away from a $6 million paycheck. But what about the Bruins having to compensate for the loss of Mark Recchi, without whom Boston never would have won The Cup, let alone made the finals?

A lot of noise will emanate from Philadelphia about Chris Pronger's ability to, A. Show up at camp; B. Be in mint condition for the season's start and, C. His right to the Flyers captaincy. If nothing else such a confluence of gossip will help distract from the fact that Philly lost two irreplaceable parts, Mike Richards and Jeff Carter.

* Veteran journeyman Dave Scatchard has officially retired from the NHL, due to concussion issues. The 14- year NHL vet revealed that after a week of tests, his doctors advised him against continuing his hockey career. During his time in the NHL, Scatchard played for six different teams, having extended stints with both the Canucks and Islanders. He was briefly a member of the Bruins, picking up 10 points in 16 games for the club in 2005-06 before a trade sent him to Phoenix.

* Figure that the Senators will once again attempt to trade either Sergei Gonchar (two years left at $5.5 million) or Filip Kuba (one season left at $3.7 million). Gonchar (briefly a Bruin in 2003-04) is a tough sell, especially after the concussion that ended his season last March. According to the Ottawa Sun’sBruce Garrioch, that leaves Kuba as the top candidate to be moved. “If the Senators do find any takers for the 34-year-old, they’ll have to take back salary to avoid going below the $48.3-million floor,” writes Garrioch.

“Subtracting Kuba’s contract from that figure would put Ottawa below the floor, as shocking as that may seem. Murray could be hoping to use Kuba to get a top-six forward who is having problems producing elsewhere.”