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Chris Drury buyout: The injury factor

The Rangers' Chris Drury watches as the Flyers'

The Rangers' Chris Drury watches as the Flyers' Blair Betts skates past him during a game in Philadelphia. (Apr. 11, 2010) Credit: Getty

With no real new news today on the Chris Drury front -- despite the clear-cut reports from the Post and News, there are still too many complicating factors to say Drury is definitely being bought out once the buyout period begins next week -- we'll lay out one of those complicating scenarios here.

Teams cannot buy out an injured player. Drury, of course, played the final game of the game of the regular season and the five playoff games, but played more than eight minutes only twice, in both OT games against the Caps.

He was essentially playing on one leg, as John Tortorella pointed out in his breakup day comments.

So if Drury isn't medically cleared to do things like skate right now, the Rangers can't buy him out. Period, move on to Plan B.

If the team and player disagree, then there's a grievance process through the players' association. But that won't happen here; Drury is not the sort of player or person to go to the mat with the Rangers.

So there are still things to be ironed out, any number of scenarios to get to the end point. The writing has been on the wall since the season ended for Drury, but it's not certain just yet.

Also to clear up the second buyout period, post-arbitration: If either the player or team even files for arbitration, that gives a club the second, August buyout time. For example, Ryan Callahan could file for arbitration and the Rangers could sign him long-term the next day; there'd be no arbitration, but the Rangers, with the new contract on the cap, would have a chance to buy someone out.

So Wojtek Wolski may still be a Ranger in August, provided Glen Sather doesn't find a trade partner before then. But that doesn't mean Wolski will be a Ranger in training camp.

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