Rangers land free-agent Cs Gomez, Drury

NEW YORK (TICKER) —The New York Rangers were major players on the first day of free agency, agreeing to terms with centers Scott Gomez and Chris Drury.

Terms were not disclosed, but TSN of Canada is reporting Gomez agreed to a seven-year, $51.5 million contract, while Drury will receive $35.25 million over five seasons.

Along with Drury, Gomez was one of the three top unrestricted centers available when the free-agency period began Sunday afternoon. Daniel Briere, a teammate of Drury’s in Buffalo, signed an eight-year deal with Philadelphia earlier in the day.

Drafted 27th overall by New Jersey in 1998, the 27-year-old Gomez won the Calder Trophy in 2000, when he recorded 19 goals and 51 assists in 82 games. That postseason, Gomez notched four tallies and 10 points in 23 contests as the Devils captured the second Stanley Cup in franchise history.

The native of Alaska also helped New Jersey to the championship in 2003.

Last campaign, Gomez registered 13 goals and 47 points in 72 games. The 2000 All-Star led the team with 15 multi-point efforts and a 52.2 percent winning percentage on faceoffs.

In 548 career games, Gomez has collected 116 tallies and 334 assists.

Drury, 30, scored a career-high 37 goals with Buffalo this past season, adding 32 assists for a career-best 69 points in 77 contests. The Sabres’ co-captain, he led the team with 17 power-play tallies, three shorthanders and nine game-winners.

A third-round pick of the Quebec Nordiques in 1994, he has notched 193 tallies and 464 points in 628 career games with the Quebec-Colorado franchise, Calgary Flames and Sabres. He has reached the 20-goal plateau in all but one of his eight NHL seasons

A two-time Olympian who helped the United States to the silver medal in the 2002 Winter Games, the Connecticut native won the Calder Trophy in 1999 and was a member of the Avalanche’s Stanley Cup championship team in 2001.

Drury also excelled on the collegiate level, winning the Hobey Baker Award as the nation’s top player in 1998 while with Boston University. He was runner-up for the award the previous year and a finalist in 1996, and he ranks first on the school’s all-time list with 113 goals and third in points with 214.

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Updated Sunday, Jul 1, 2007