Drury to accept buyout from Rangers

New York Rangers captain Chris Drury has told the New York Post he will accept a buyout of the final year of his contract Wednesday, and become an unrestricted free agent Friday.

Drury signed a five-year, $35.25 million with the Rangers on July 1, 2007. According to CapGeek.com, Drury will count approximately $3.716 million against the 2011-12 salary cap, and about $1.667 million in 2012-13.

In an e-mail sent to the newspaper, Drury revealed his four seasons with the team had come to an end.

"It was a great honor and privilege to be a New York Ranger for the past four years, and I will always be grateful for the opportunity to fulfill that childhood dream," Drury wrote in his e-mail. "The Rangers are a first-class organization with great people in the hockey, public relations, team services and community relations departments.

"I would also like to thank Ranger fans. They always inspired me to do the best I could in whatever role I was asked to play. Playing before them in the Garden was a thrill of a lifetime. I wish all the fans and the entire Ranger organization the best of luck in the future."

Drury had the right to apply for a medical exception due to an injured left knee, but he has refused to do so, and also has waived the no-movement clause in his contract.

Drury, 34, suffered through an injury-riddled 2010-11 season that saw him spend most of it on injured reserve due to a twice-broken left index finger and arthroscopic knee surgery. He had just 1 goal and 5 points in 24 games, and 1 assist in five playoff games.

In four seasons, Drury had 62 goals and 89 points in 264 games, and 4 goals in 21 playoff games. It was hoped Drury and Scott Gomez, who signed a seven-year, $51.5 million deal the same day, would be a dynamic 1-2 punch up the middle. Instead, Gomez was traded in June 2009 and now Drury is gone, as well.

Contact Adam Kimelman at akimelman@nhl.com. Follow him on Twitter: @NHLAdamK