The former New York Rangers captain returns to his home Connecticut as general manager of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
Chris Drury retired as New York Rangers captain in 2011. At the time, Drury said, “I definitely needed a break from the game. I was really looking forward to and got to spend a lot of time with my wife and children.”
Jeff Jacobs of the Hartford Courant spoke with Drury on Monday as he and the entire organization prepare for the up coming season. This season, he is not only serving as assistant general manager of the New York Rangers, but he is entering his first season as GM of the Hartford Wolf Pack.
— Hartford Courant (@hartfordcourant) August 29, 2017
Drury has been involved in some sought of sports activity dating back to the Little League World Series win In Williamsport, P.A. as a member of the Trumbull National Connecticut team. He is probably one of the most known athletes to come out of the state of Connecticut.
Drury has won championships everywhere he has played. As Jeff Jacobs reported. He won a national title at Boston University, became the only Terrier to score 100 goals and 100 assists and won the Hobey Baker Award, hockey’s Heisman. Behind him was a 12-year NHL career, where he became the only player to win the Hobey Baker and Calder Trophy as NHL rookie of the year, where he won the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001, played on two Olympic silver medalists and earned his reputation as a great clutch player, one of only a handful to score 17 NHL playoff winners and four overtime goals.
The man knew how to win but also knew when it was time to hang the skates up. In 2011, he negotiated a buyout with the New York Rangers and retired from the game, a day before he celebrated his 35th birthday.
Drury spent all the time he could with his family
Four years later in 2015, Drury was hired by Rangers GM Jeff Gorton to be the Rangers Director of Player Development. He was now back involved in hockey and with the Rangers on the management side. He was promoted this year to general manager of the Wolf Pack and was involved in the decision to hire new Wolf Pack coach Keith McCambridge, a Wolf Pack assistant last season, as head coach.
Drury has a lot of work ahead of him as the Wolfpack finished last in the Atlantic division last season. “First and foremost, it’s a development league,” Drury said, “but at the same time, you try to balance wins and losses.” Drury will continue to have the Wolfpack mirror Rangers head coach Alain Vigneault’s system. This allows for a better transition for players when they are called up to the NHL.
The Hartford Wolf Pack has had winning seasons in the past, but the parent team (the Rangers) has a lot of say on player personnel for the Wolfpack. As the Rangers have made some questionable trades over the last few years, those trades have affected the Wolfpack lineup and the wins and losses. Drury is aware of that as he is aware that the number one goal of the organization is to win a Stanley Cup Championship.
Drury enjoys working with the young players on the team as some of them develop into NHL players. The Rangers enjoy having Drury in the organization as was proven earlier this summer when the Buffalo Sabres were denied permission to speak to him regarding their open GM position. The Rangers have high hopes and expectations for Drury.
Chris Drury has plenty of experience in what it takes to be a winner and a champion. He is now in charge of bringing that experience not only to the Hartford Wolfpack but to the state of Connecticut.
Drury said, “I was born and raised in Trumbull. I was and still am very proud to be from Connecticut. To be able to accomplish what we did a long time ago was, obviously, a huge thrill. It’s something my teammates and I will always be proud of. But I think I’ve always been the kind of guy who goes, ‘What’s next?'”
That a great question. Whats next for the Wolf Pack, for the New York Rangers and what’s next for Chris Drury? As his past dictates, he will work on Hartford becoming a winner and worry about the rest when that is accomplished.