on July 1, 2009 by in Uncategorized, Comments (0)

Canadiens secure Gomez in seven-player trade with Rangers

MONTREAL (Reuters) – The Montreal Canadiens acquired Scott Gomez, and his sizeable contract, from the New York Rangers in a seven-player trade on Tuesday.

With the free-agent signing window opening on Wednesday, Canadiens general manager Bob Gainey got an early jump on the competition landing the play-making center he had been seeking.

Gomez will earn $8 million next season.

The Canadiens also received forward Tom Pyatt and defenseman Michael Busto from New York while sending forward Christopher Higgins and defensemen Ryan McDonagh, Pavel Valentenko and Doug Janik to the Rangers.

“We are extremely pleased to have acquired an impact centreman in Scott Gomez,” Gainey said on the Canadiens website (www.canadiens.nhl.com) “He is an outstanding playmaker and an excellent skater.

“Having won the Stanley Cup twice with the New Jersey Devils, he brings a lot of playoff experience to our team.”

The first Hispanic player taken in the first round of the NHL draft, Gomez was selected 27th overall by the Devils in 1998 and went on to claim the Calder Cup as the league’s top rookie.

He spent seven seasons in New Jersey winning two Stanley Cups before signing a seven-year contract as an unrestricted free agent with the Rangers two years ago.

Gomez tied Nikolai Zherdev for the lead in team scoring last season with 58 points but is more renowned for creating opportunities for others.

He has scored 148 goals and accumulated 578 points over nine seasons, where he has missed just 32 games because of injury.

Higgins, selected by the Canadiens 14th overall in the 2002 draft, struggled last season scoring just 12 goals and 23 points.

It was the first time the left winger had scored less than 20 goals since entering the league.

(Writing by Steve Keating in Toronto; Editing by Greg Stutchbury)