The Rangers have had an impressive season so far and have played themselves into the thick of the playoff race. They appear to be past their rebuilding stage and have a strong core in place. Ownership is clearly pleased with the direction of the team as Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported in the latest Saturday Headlines (video link) that New York has given GM Jeff Gorton as well as assistant GM Chris Drury contract extensions. Terms of the deals have not been disclosed.
Gorton is in his 13th season with the team and has held a variety of roles with the Rangers since coming to them from Boston for the 2007-08 campaign. He took over from Glen Sather as GM prior to the 2015-16 season and helped shepherd them through their rebuilding process which took a drastic turn last offseason when they traded for defenseman Jacob Trouba and handed out a record breaking contract to winger Artemi Panarin in free agency.
As for Drury, he finished up his playing career in New York, spending his last three NHL seasons with the Rangers with the last one being in 2010-11. Once Gorton took on his current role, Drury joined the front office, spending one year as Director of Player Development before taking on his current assistant GM title. He also currently serves as the GM for the AHL’s Hartford WolfPack and led USA’s entry into the World Championships a year ago. He’ll undoubtedly attract some interest as other GM vacancies become available across the league.
Gorton will have some work cut out for him this summer when it comes to the salary cap. Even after moving blueliner Brady Skjei to Carolina at the trade deadline, they still have a little over $67MM in commitments for next season with several key young players (goalie Alexandar Georgiev, defenseman Anthony DeAngelo, and forward Ryan Strome) all in need of new contracts with arbitration eligibility. That will take up a big chunk of their remaining cap room so if Gorton wants to make another big addition this summer, he’ll need to free up some space first.