The New York Rangers have bought out the contract of forward Chris Drury in a move that makes the veteran an unrestricted free agent.
The value of the buyout is $3.7 million, with $1.66 million due next year.
The 34-year-old Rangers captain played four seasons in New York, totalling 62 goals and 151 points in 264 games with the team.
"Chris is a consummate professional, a tremendous competitor and an even better person," said Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather in a statement. "He gave his heart and soul to the Rangers organization in his time here and we wish him the best in his future endeavors."
Drury was due to earn $5 million during the upcoming final season of a five-year, $35.25 million deal that he signed after coming over from the Buffalo Sabres as a free agent in the summer of 2007.
Drury was limited to 24 games last season because of two broken fingers and knee surgery.
In an e-mail to the New York Post, Drury acknowledged the end of his time in New York.
"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," said Drury to the newspaper. "The Rangers are a first-class organization with great people in the hockey, public relations, team services and community relations departments.
"I wish all the fans and the entire Ranger organization the best of luck in the future."
Drury won the Calder Trophy in 1998-99 and captured the Stanley Cup with Colorado in 2001. He is a three-time Olympian who has won two silver medals for the U.S.
In 892 NHL contests Drury has 255 goals and 615 points while playing for Colorado, Calgary, Buffalo, and the Rangers.