Absence, opportunity after Drury injury

Team captain Chris Drury broke his finger blocking a shot in Monday's training camp scrimmage and will miss four weeks, including the first four games of the regular season.

The loss opens the window a little wider for a crowded field of centers to make a good impression. Rookie Derek Stepan will certainly receive a long look, while the newly acquired Tim Kennedy and Todd White will also see more time during the Blueshirts’ preseason schedule, which begins Thursday against the Devils.

The Post’s Larry Brooks speculates that it could also open a slot on the third line for Sean Avery, with Vinny Prospal shifting to center.

The Record’s Andrew Gross spoke with some vets on the impact of the injury.

Morning Links

  • Drury discussed the long, hot, playoff-free summer with the team’s official site.

  • In other injury news, 2010 fourth-round pick Andrew Yogan will need surgery to repair a torn labrum.

  • LoHud.com’s Rich Carpiniello chatted with D-man Matt Gilroy, who is motivated by his late-season benching.

  • The Rangers’ 2010 top pick Dylan McIlrath writes about the Traverse City tournament from his perspective. In the article, the truculence-prone prospect explains why he didn’t drop the gloves.

  • Stepan, the sensation of the camp so far, centered a line with fellow rookies Mats Zuccarello-Aasen and Evgeny Grachev yesterday, yielding the top-line role to Erik Christensen, according to the Blueshirts Blog, which also adds several other interesting notes from yesterday’s action.

  • Head coach John Tortorella wrapped up Monday’s session with some comments to the media on Drury’s injury and prospect performances, as recorded by Andrew Gross.

  • Blueshirt Banter wants to know if the (formerly?) fiery Tortorella has had an attitude adjustment.

  • The Rangers’ AHL affiliate will be changing its name from the Hartford Wolfpack this season, as the Whale is being resurrected, according to this Hartford Courant report. The former owner of the Hartford Whalers (R.I.P.) is taking control of the club and will change the Wolfpack to the “Connecticut Whale” this season.
    I’m sorry, but as a guy who owns a puck signed by Jason Muzzatti, this is close to blasphemy. If you’re going invoke the memory of the greatest mall-based franchise in history, do it right. Don’t flaunt a nickname cliquey college students would use to demean a pudgy loner from the Constitution State. My hometown of Danbury, on the other hand, has it right. The Federal Hockey League might not share the same prestige as the AHL, but yesterday they had Dr. Hook Tim McCracken in the flesh!

  • And if you were looking for some awkward Fashion Week video featuring two members of the New York Rangers sitting in some sort of "Real World" video confessional booth, you just found it. Congratulations.