Monday, June 11, 2007

Chris Drury?

ESPN is reporting that the Sharks, Sabres, and Kings are in the running for Chris Drury. The Philly Inquirer has a similar story (via Yahoo). According to that, "every indication is he will end up with the San Jose Sharks". First of all, this kind of speculation rarely turns out to be correct, and if it isn't, no one gets castigated for it. If Drury signs with the Sabres before July 1, no one will remember the PI had it wrong. It sells newspapers.

But the ESPN story and my (albeit amateur) internal salary gauge says Drury will get at least $6M per year. That sounds like too much, for a guy that had less than 70 pts in the regular season. For that kind of money you can get Briere, who had more points and plays the same position. I think the market will overpay for 'locker room leadership' and 'clutch performance'. And in case you haven't read previous posts, I'm unconvinced that those things brings a decided advantage.

Pop quiz- which of these players had fewer points than Chris Drury last year:
A. Kristian Huselius
B. Jonathan Cheechoo
C. Slava Kozlov
D. Andrew Brunette

Give up? It's E- none of the above. Guess the highest salary amongst this group. It's Cheech, averaging $3M for the next four years. All the others are around $2M per (Kozlov is a UFA too, by the way). I'm going to have a hard time being convinced that Drury deserves a 100% premium because he's a locker room leader and good in the clutch. Not that points should be the only determinant of salary, but let's get real. I think Drury owes Buccigross a commission on his next contract, for all the love he's gotten in print.


Can'tStoptheGrier said...

I think you have good points, my friend, but what you are not taking into account here are two qualities the Sharks desperately need

a) faceoffs won
b) leadership

The Sharks would be adding a top face off guy - 980 some odd face off wins. Compare this with Marleau - granted he played wing part of the season - but this is not close in this area. Drury is the superior center.

Also, he is a captain of a winning hockey club. A team that played with character and heart. A team that Doug Wilson admires and poached one of their key players last year - why wouldn't he want to do it again?

I think we shoud add Drury and say goodbye to Patty M. Package him with another player and get an impact defensemen or wing. We shall see what happens at the draft - I think Wilson will strike fast.

Anonymous said...

Mike, you are missing the point regarding Drury. Teams aren't targeting Drury for his points. They want him for his solid 2-way play and his leadership. That's what the Sharks would be looking for if they tried to sign him. But I don't think they will. All those rumors out there are a bunch of BS.

Mike said...

The faceoff comment is a good one. Drury was near the top of the league in faceoff percentage, which I think is more important than number of faceoff wins. That's worth something. Is it worth an extra $2M/year?

I don't think I'm missing the point. I understand that Drury's value isn't just pucks in the net or assists. I was just trying to point out that whoever signs him will be paying a whole truckload of money for those attributes that aren't in the box score. Is it worth it? I'm not sure. But it wasn't enough to take a very talented Buffalo team to the SCF.

Ian said...

All I can say is that they better not get rid of Marleau because of one bad playoff series. If he's broken, or if it's a question of keeping either Joe or Patty for cap reasons, sure, you look to move him. But let's not think like the Bruins here.

I like Drury, and think he's the kind of player that can compliment the rest of the team both from the locker room and on the ice. But you don't win the Cup by dropping one of your most dependable scorers (and your captain) for two-way centers. Drury is a slightly better version of Martin Lapointe or Bobby Holik, and how well did they do when their new teams relied on them as primary offensive players? (Answer: not nearly as well as their paycheck would indicate).

We have an excellent top line, and need a dependable second line, one that can take advantage of the other team's weaker D. If Bernier could play like Kunitz has been playing in Anaheim, we'd likely have made it past the Wings. In our situation, you add Drury to the existing line-up, or you find someone else to play on Marleau's line for cheaper.

Jibblescribbits said...

As someone who has cheered for Drury on his own teams, I think he's worth the money. Yes his point production is not as good as a Brière, but you're not just paying for leadership and clutch. 37 goals is nothing to scoff at at all.

He's much much better than anyone you listed above on the defensive end of the ice as well. He is a tremendous asset because he will chip in goals and assists while not giving up anything in return.

It's not like Scott Gomez who is looking for a $6-7M/year for a 13 goal season. Granted NJ is a defensive team, but he's gotta at leasts core 20 goals for a playoff team right?

Dear Lord Stanley said...

Just for the record, Brunette makes less than $1 million. Now that's a bargain! Slow as hell but still scored 80+ points.

Mike said...

Thanks for the comments everyone.

First of all, Ian, I agree with you. I think people are jumping on the 'dump Marleau' bandwagon way too quickly. Drury (or really anyone) will not be a panacea for all that ails the Sharks. If I were Doug Wilson, I would set my sights on Souray first.

I also agree that Drury is a very good two-way player. His +/- doesn't reflect his defensive prowess mostly because he's on special teams so much. He's #1 in SH TOI per game among Buffalo fowards.

But because we have SH stud-duo Brown and Grier, would we really get value in that area from Drury?

Ted said...

Grier was one of their best players. And yes, Brownie did a heckuva job too, but Drury would in fact be a big value boost in precisely the Curtis Brown area. Brown is a cheap serviceable player, he did an admirable job, but he's no stud.