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Questions linger for Rangers after playoff loss

On a day when a lot was said, it was what wasn't said by the New York Rangers that reverberated the loudest.

Two days after the Rangers' season ended, the team gathered at its training facility to meet with coaches and the media.

One of the bigger questions surrounding the team is whether 34-year-old captain Chris Drury will return next season. Drury was sidelined for two months after a knee injury that required surgery. He returned and scored a goal in New York's regular-season finale -- a 5-2 win over New Jersey on April 9 that put the Rangers in the playoffs.

"I didn't expect him to be back," Rangers coach John Tortorella said. "I was so happy for him when he scored the goal and who knows? Because of the stupid [points and shootout] rule, we might not have been in [the playoffs] if he doesn't score the goal."

Tortorella acknowledged that Drury wasn't at his most effective in the playoffs.

"He tried like hell but he slowed down as it went on. I thought he did a great job but honestly this is something we have to look at. Where does he fit now? We are going young. We're trying to build it up again."

The Rangers signed Drury to a five-year, $35.2 million deal following the 2007 season, after Drury spent three years as a Buffalo Sabre. He had 62 goals and 151 points in 264 regular-season games, and four goals and seven points in 16 playoff games with New York.

If the Rangers decide to buy out the remainder of Drury's contract, he would become a free agent and New York would be on the hook for a $3.7 million cap hit next season and a $1.6 million hit in 2012-13.

Drury tap-danced around the subject of his future with the Rangers.

"I just kind of take it one day at a time," he said. "I just kind of always prepare for the next practice and the next game."

Tortorella said he was "disappointed" that the season was over. He also noted that his disappointment in several unnamed players had changed to worry.

"We were counting on some people to step up and it didn't happen. It didn't happen," Tortorella said.

One player the coach talked about was Marian Gaborik. The right wing struggled in his second season with the Rangers, finishing with 22 goals and 48 points. He had 42 goals and 86 points in 2009-10.

Gaborik, who suffered a separated shoulder and a concussion during the regular season, denied that injuries played a role in his sub-par year. Tortorella said one of the team's priorities this offseason is to add some more pieces.

"We have to add skill within our lineup," Tortorella said. "We need to look at all avenues. We're building the right foundation. We had some really good growth and some surprises. When you get into the real stuff of the playoffs and play a skillful team like Washington, you can see where we need some help in that area."

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