Report: Chris Drury admonished Vitali Kravtsov publicly leading to current situation

chris drury
Mar 17, 2021; New York, New York, USA; New York Rangers associate general manager Chris Drury works the bench during a game against the Philadelphia Flyers at Madison Square Garden. Due to the NHL COVID-10 protocol, the Rangers coaching staff were not available for tonights game. Mandatory Credit: Bruce Bennett/POOL PHOTOS-USA TODAY Sports

On October 14th, Forever Blueshirts detailed the current situation between the New York Rangers and Vitali Kravtsov. In that piece, I noted from a knowledgeable source that Chris Drury was never a fan of the Kravtsov selection and his choice to use the European Out Clause in his contract really rubbed him wrong.

A new report from Arthur Staple expands on probably just how much Drury disliked the pick.

Chris Drury told Kravtsov he quit on the team

The Rangers selected Kravtsov, now 21, with the 9th pick overall in the 2018 Draft. In 2019, he failed to make the team out of camp and was unhappy being sent to the Wolf Pack. Kravtsov decided to use the European Out Clause which the team gave him in his contract to return home to Russia.

According to a new report by Arthur Staple in The Athletic, while Kravtsov was saying his goodbyes to teammates, Chris Drury called him out and said he “quit” on the team. At the time Drury was the Wolf Pack’s GM.

Eventually, Kravtsov was demoted in the KHL and that prompted Jeff Gorton to get on the phone to bring Kravtsov back to the AHL. Not only did the kid come back, but Kris Knoblauch publicly stated that he did everything that was asked of him upon his return.

Late in 2020, the pandemic shut the NHL down, and ended the AHL season. Kravtsov was invited to the bubble when hockey resumed, when another incident occurred.

He joined the Rangers in the Toronto bubble for the team’s brief 2020 playoff appearance and there was, again according to multiple sources, an incident between Kravtsov and Drury in which the young forward was dressed down by the then-assistant GM for not working hard enough. That happened on the ice in full view of teammates.

The Athletic

Kravtsov thought he would be traded in the summer

vitali kravtsov rumors
Winslow Townson-USA TODAY Sports

When Chris Drury was replaced John Davidson and Jeff Gorton at the end of last season, Kravtsov was fairly certain he would be dealt. His name was out there in the rumor mill prior to that anyway. However, it didn’t come to pass, even after a heated exchange about his conditioning habits during breakup meetings.

Kravtsov obviously didn’t help himself coming into the new season as his conditioning remained an issue for management. Still, he likely felt he earned a spot with his preseason play, scoring a goal upon his return from an injury.

That wasn’t the case, so Kravtsov decided not to report to the Wolf Pack and asked for a trade.

Kravtsov’s trade value

A trade should not be hard to facilitate, especially with reports that multiple teams are interested. However, this very public matter certainly hurts his trade value leading to low ball offers.

A knowledgeable source made it clear to me that the likely return will be a second round pick. The most logical would be from teams that currently hold multiple picks in the 2022 NHL Entry Draft.

Those teams are as follows:

  • Ottawa Senators (34, 57)
  • Calgary Flames (41, 49)
  • Detroit Red Wings (47, 63)
  • Arizona Coyotes (55, 58, 59, 62)

The other factor is to look at the way the Rangers are situated to date. They are actively shopping their extra players like Hajek and Gauthier, which could be packaged with Kravtsov to maybe garner a late first round pick instead or a third line forward.

This has happened with the Rangers before. Lias Andersson, whom no one would trade for went to LA for a second round pick which was used to select Will Cuylle. Basically setting the precedent.

What’s become clear now, is that Chris Drury isn’t very shy about how he feels with players. He also does not mind doing it publicly. It’s ok to be rough around the edges, but it sure sounds like he needs to smooth a few of them out.

What did you do Buch?

Blues’ Buchnevich to have a hearing for head butt (with video). Check it here.

Anthony Scultore is the founder of Forever Blueshirts and has been covering the New York Rangers and the NHL... More about Anthony Scultore

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