Drake played six seasons with the Blues, including two as captain. The team said it needed the roster spot heading into training camp, and Blues general manager Larry Pleau travelled to Drake’s summer home in Traverse City, Mich., to deliver the news last weekend.
The 38-year-old Drake signed a two-year contract for US$2.2 million before last season and would have made $1 million next season. If Drake clears waivers, he will be paid two-thirds of his $1 million salary over the next two years. The salary cap hit to the team will be $1.1 million in 2007-08.
Drake signed as a free agent with the Blues in 2000. He scored 63 goals in 443 games.
Drake, who said he wants to play, ended the season on injured reserve with a wrist injury.