The New York Rangers have given Chris Drury a shiny new title, promoting him from assistant general manager to associate general manager. He will remain general manager of the AHL’s Hartford Wolf Pack. The team explains that in his role, Drury will “continue to assist Rangers general manager Jeff Gorton on all player transactions and contract negotiations.”
Drury had recently been linked to the Pittsburgh Penguins GM search, before suddenly removing himself from contention earlier this week. In all likelihood, this promotion is the reason why.
For the Rangers, losing a promising young executive like Drury to a rival like Pittsburgh would have been unwise. The 44-year-old Drury was not only a star player in the NHL, with a Stanley Cup championship and two Olympic medals, but he was a Rangers captain and has been a rising star since joining the management side. In 2019 he was even tapped by USA Hockey to GM the World Championship squad and was set to have the same role in 2020 before the tournament was canceled.
At some point down the line, Drury will become a GM in the NHL. It will be interesting to see whether that is in New York at some point, with Gorton either departing or moving into a different role. They won’t be able to keep Drury around forever if he truly wants control of a franchise.