Habs get Gomez from Rangers for Higgins

Scott Gomez

The Montreal Canadiens have acquired centre Scott Gomez, winger Tom Pyatt and defenceman Mike Busto from the New York Rangers in exchange for winger Chris Higgins and defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko from the Montreal Canadiens.

Gomez, 29, is coming off a down season for the Rangers, finishing with 58 points, his lowest total since 2002-2003.

A two-time Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils, Gomez was a blockbuster free agent signing for the Rangers last summer. Gomez is signed through 2013-2014, at a salary cap hit of more than $7.35-million, so he represents a significant investment.

In 706 career games, Gomez has 148 goals, 430 assists and 578 points, adding 81 points in 114 career playoff games.

Higgins, a 26-year-old restricted free agent winger, also struggled in 2008-2009, scoring a career-low 23 points in 57 games as he missed a combined 25 games with hand and groin injuries. Prior to last season, however, Higgins recorded three straight seasons of at least 20 goals and he’ll be a more economical option for the Rangers as he earned $1.7-million last season.

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