nhl

Rangers ink Gomez and Drury

Scott Gomez

Scott Gomez

7/2/2007 2:13:14 AM

NEW YORK (AP) - The New York Rangers solved their problems at centre in a big way Sunday, signing Scott Gomez and Chris Drury away from Eastern Conference rivals on the first day of free agency.

Just hours after the summer shopping season opened, the Rangers landed the two biggest available centres - plucking Gomez from Atlantic Division-foe New Jersey and Drury from the Buffalo Sabres, the team that knocked New York out in the second round of this year's playoffs.

Gomez signed a seven-year deal with the Rangers worth US$51.5 million - including $10 million next season. Drury inked a five-year contract for $35.25 million. He will earn $7.1 million each of the next two seasons.

"It's pretty exciting," Rangers general manager Glen Sather said. "We ranked them both as number ones, and we never expected to get both of them."

The Rangers had been looking for a second-line centre to play with forward Brendan Shanahan, and now can plug Gomez into that spot. Drury's signing means that New York will let unrestricted free agent Michael Nylander leave, creating a spot on the top line for Drury to play alongside Jaromir Jagr.


 

Sather approached both players Sunday and felt during the day that he merely had to convince the pair to come to New York. He knew other teams were interested but didn't get the impression from Drury and Gomez that he was bidding against other clubs.

New York already had some room under the salary cap, and then got more space when next season's number was set at $50.3 million, an increase of $6.3 million from last season.

Shanahan hasn't signed a new deal yet, but said after the season he wanted to return to New York. The Rangers also need to get restricted free agent goalie Henrik Lundqvist and forward Sean Avery under contract.

"We still have other people we have to sign so we have to be careful but we think we have things calculated out and we're in a good position," Sather said. "We think we can keep everyone we have right now."

Although coach Tom Renney said he always has line combinations running through his head, he hasn't mapped out exactly where everyone will line up on opening night.

"A couple of additions made it quite appealing," Renney said.

Drury's deal also includes a full no-move clause, meaning he can't be traded without his consent or sent to the minor leagues. Agreeing to such terms is a shift in previous Rangers policy.

"I'd say it was not as intact as it was yesterday," Sather said with a laugh. "When you make a deal, there are certain things you try to stick to and certain things you make compromises on."

There was no immediate word whether Gomez received the same consideration. The 27-year Alaskan native, a two-time Stanley Cup champion in his seven NHL seasons - all with the Devils - had 13 goals and 47 assists in 72 games last season.

Drury, from nearby Trumbull, Conn., joined fellow Sabres co-captain Daniel Briere in leaving Buffalo on Sunday. Briere signed an eight-year, $52 million contract with Philadelphia - another division rival of the Rangers.

"I have some kind of mixed feeling," Sather said of the Sabres. "I am happy we got an opportunity to get involved with these players. From Buffalo's perspective, I'm sure they're not happy these two guys left but that's the nature of the beast.

"I know it was a difficult day for Darcy (Sabres GM Darcy Regier). You just have to face the facts that sometimes you can't keep everyone, and at some point it's probably going to happen to us. This organization has come a long way and this is our opportunity."

Drury, 30, scored a career-high 69 points - including 37 goals - for the Sabres. Buffalo had an NHL-best 113 points this season, but the balance of power in the East clearly shifted toward the Atlantic Division on Sunday.

"He's been a winner everywhere he's been," Sather said. "He brings that spunk we need. He fits many roles for us."

The Rangers lost a tight, six-game series to Buffalo in the second round. New York was poised to take a 3-2 series lead in Game 5 when Drury scored the tying goal with 7.7 seconds left in regulation. The Sabres then won 2-1 in overtime to take control back in the series.

New York made the playoffs each of the past two years after missing for seven straight seasons.

"The expectations can't be any greater than they are internally," Renney said. "This is a work in progress and always will be. We just want to get to the highest level possible and work hard to sustain it."

Sather said both players indicated a desire to play in New York, and signs throughout Sunday emerged that made him believe he could get them both under contract.

"I don't think either one of them knew we were negotiating with the other guy," he said. "We called them both at the same time and neither one knew about it until the very end."






NO. AUTHOR MESSAGE
1ryeben4so much for loyalty...I hope he becomes another Bo ...
2hillbillynickThis can't be good...Signing with a division rival ...
3MC23Rangers will win the East in 2008! Gomez could car ...
4wardo14A good signing by NYR! The price is steep & I ...
5westhab10Well we are running out of some of the high contra ...
6LordofDramaif the Rangers lose Nylander, Gomez will fill the ...
7squarewheelshatcherDrury and Gomez? Wow! But who's gonna play D behin ...
8letsgoflyers!Gomez and Drury with the Rangers. They are the te ...
9MoonKnightAnd the floodgates open! Won't Shanny want to stic ...
10blitzer888Does this remind anyone of the pre-cap era? ...
11leujo2kOh man... Gomez, Drury, and Jagr???? This is ...
12Wynner9Absolutly a great deal for NYR. Picking up Gomez a ...
13bootsy64$7,000,000 a year?...thats a joke....he scored 13 ...
14squirlzy44Back to the good old rangers, trying to buy a cham ...
15MC23Gomez + Drury = Stanley Cup ...
16rexregisI'm interested to know what the Rangers' salary le ...
17tyler1331JFJ is quaking in his pants now. Drury, Gomez 1-2 ...
18BzangWow that's huge. They just got a whole lot better ...
19rock_089thats an insane amount of money to pay Scott Gomez ...
20lesboysHow can they afford both? Do they think they can c ...
21gromph99wow, how can u pay someone that much when he doesn ...
22eagoalie27Sather did his job!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!The Rangers are ...
23screenguy76Those signings sure make a statement. The Rangers ...
24allcar67There hasn't been a player procurement day this ex ...
25someguyjonWow...Kudos to GM Sather. Never thought one team w ...
26mrdiscoThat's a lot of money for two players, but the Ran ...
27davet17 Million/year for a guy that averages 18 goals a ...
28c0rd0vahow does a guy coming off of a 13 goal season get ...
29borntobewild10look for the rangers to be serious contenders in t ...
30mjreechwow! so both the rangers and flyers step up to cru ...
31kenstockwellWow- Rangers are going to be much better next seas ...
32samurai#1Wow that's crazy. A lot of teams aren't going to b ...
33oil90Id say they got the same player twice...Why sign G ...
34lonerogue*TWO* Centres? Are they nuts? Isn't Straka still ...
35curtisbyWOW!!! Just like the days before the salary cap. T ...
36mojo052992So Drury takes a pay cut! Wonder how these two phe ...
37name_lessA big "Welcome Back!" to the days of buying a Stan ...
38arbo303Wow. Just wow. Watch out for the Rangers. ...
39chararulesWow..The rangers are looking like the "pre-salary ...
40dvmaprezsonThat aint right... Both of them? I can't believ ...
41Jry44If your the sabres.... where do you turn now? Ryan ...
42superdave2277I know this will be said many times, but wasn't th ...
43rangerkid4evaTheres my Ranges puttin their 25 mil in spending t ...
44islandman88unbelievable! 7 mil a piece...gimme a break! I tho ...
45McCready42This kinda looks like Pre-Lockout dealings! Heres ...
46theskull32It is a shock to me that the Rangers could land bo ...
47fawcetthabsHavent the rangers learned from their past expensi ...
48Flyerfan-52WOW!! The Atlantic Division is going to be tough n ...
49jheppn2You've gotta be kidding me! both? I can't believe ...
50KeepinItHickNow the Rangers have been known in the past (pre-l ...
51BfloGene12Time to boot Larry Quinn. When is the bleeding gon ...
52avz69Gomez doesn't even average a point per game and he ...
53nyrangers#2Umm.....HOLY CRAP! I love Nylander and would love ...
54mikef91Unbelievable! Should be a great year for the Blue ...
55jackychan900good new for rangers fans!! adding two elite forw ...
56-Braithwaite-how they managed to pull this off is ridiculous!! ...
575150guyAs a Rangers fan all I can say is "eeexxxxccccelle ...
58Drs5763Hard to believe that there was a lock out two year ...
59AveryforPresidentPaid too much for both of them. They are both very ...
60wells_66Ok the shows over top 2 go to Rangers for way too ...
61djmaherWow, are the Rangers even going to have the cap sp ...
62drowdo they have the cap space to support that? or are ...
63leafsforever13Wow. Tampa Bay of the North. Gomez, Drury, Jagr. A ...
64brady15Rangers are officially the class of the Eastern Co ...
65doctoruhuge signings! They overpaid for Gomez, Drury may ...
66jrn989Well folks, I'd have to say the Rangers are the fa ...
67leconeyWay to go Rangers, I may be greedy but I hope they ...
68hockeypanthat's some ridiculous money for players who have ...
69TK421Oh my god... First Rafalski now Gomez? The Devils ...
70NHLextremeThe Rangers were close to winning the cup this and ...
71LeafsFan90Oh boy, Rangers are scary now. If they can acquir ...
72stevengreeley14New Beast in the East? Hopefully their role player ...
73RobinatorWow I didn't see this coming I thought that Gomez ...
74denny_816Wow...That Briere signing by the flyers looks like ...
75dd44Same old Rangers. Hopefully Gomez works out as we ...
76djswaRangers are gonna be a better team with these two, ...
77rangersfan99Oh my god! I didn't think there was anyway they'd ...
78ZappyBoth are very solid signings. Gomez only had 13 g ...
79danr128Drury a good player but not $7 million good - he g ...
80iceman3527Well, the balance of power in the Atlantic has shi ...
81derekgisWhat the heck? how do you only get 13 goals/60pts ...
82Vinny1Watch out NHL, here we come!! Im as happy as ever! ...
83SabreJetJust Bizarre contracts... A league with no TV deal ...
84stevedvikingWay to Rangers. These two young talents should hel ...
85cchristieWish you would have returned Dru; however we wish ...
86nkoul_96Are you serious !? They get both of them. Now the ...
87drewlewisSweet Deal for the Rangers, more players to play w ...
88betaylor27$7.35 million a year for a guy who scored 13 goals ...
89jcharris99Really glad to see the 'cost certainty' in the NHL ...
90john25great pick-ups by the Rangers, at least their GM i ...
91jaybird2huge signings by the rangers,this puts an end to t ...
92godofhockeysteviey19Great signings by the Rangers. Except for one thin ...
93LegionOfDoomWOW, just what the doctor ordered, depth at the pi ...
94Habs73I would say the rangers made the best deal of the ...
95robbievAnd we had the NHL lockout because????? ...
96RedWings10cupsWow...great "name player" signings by the blueshir ...
97E55AMGUnbelievable is all I have to say. Stacked!!!! ...
98GoSabs08Who are the Sabres going to get to replace Drury a ...
99rwingnuttGood move blue shirts...1/3 of total payroll on 2 ...
100grphillipsRangers are going to rock this year! ...
101JR97and people thought the Flyers overpaid Briere! wow ...
102jcallensWow, thats about 30% of the cap to 2 players. Wher ...
103reaper1097Looks like the flyers got Briere at a discount sin ...
104bigskyWhat?? $7.36 million/year for Gomez?? He had 13 ...
105abootOK. Gomez in NOOOO way is worth more than 5!. FOR ...
106MightyDoubleEAnd they still won't win the cup. They've tried w ...
107mobstawhat a joke! The rangers will overpay anyone. Both ...
108leaf_nationover 7 million a year for both of them? They're bo ...
109kd123look out rangers=stanley cup all they need is one ...
110soul06They are the team to beat now, Hey Shanny come to ...
111rdyck16This is the best (and most unexpected) move GM Sat ...
112cashwow thats a lot of cap room tied up long term ...
113urlacher54are the devils gonna do anything?? i guess not, ju ...
114rangercupA great move by the Rangers. Add a few young guys ...
115FromTheBurghGomez for over 7 million! What a joke! Same old ...
116jukeboxjunkeyGood luck Rangers. Both NJ and Buffalo play an awe ...
117dice317break out the bubbly I told you all we would get ...
118sirtaylsI am so glad we got drury over briere. Can't beli ...
119bauernikehockeyI think this is a bold statement by the Rangers, b ...
120Jaysin77I am a life long Ranger fan and I love the signing ...
121Bryan7455Bad day for the Devils. Worse yet Gomez will be i ...
122sabresmaxfan61i respect Drury's decision. i wish him the best, a ...
123RankoRThe Blue Shirts just got scary good! ...
124skins_isthemenHolly Cow..... This is huge for the rangers... if ...
125djswaWay to be agressive, Rangers! Just have fun having ...
126Jawz55The Rangers are officially a Stanley Cup Contender ...
127ScottyO79Gee, the Rangers, Leafs and Red Wings sign big nam ...
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