The Rangers just announced they have signed RFA Christopher Higgins — the key young guy they got in the Gomez deal. More in a minute …
here’s the announcement:
RANGERS AGREE TO TERMS WITH FORWARD CHRISTOPHER HIGGINS
New York, July 6, 2009 – New York Rangers President and General Manager Glen Sather announced today that the club has agreed to terms with restricted free agent forward Christopher Higgins.
Higgins, 26, was acquired by the Rangers, along with Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko, from the Montreal Canadiens, in exchange for Scott Gomez, Tom Pyatt and Mike Busto on June 30. He has skated in 282 regular season contests with Montreal, recording 84 goals and 67 assists for 151 points, along with 96 penalty minutes. The 6-0, 205-pounder has eclipsed the 20-goal mark three times. In 2007-08, he established career-highs in games played (82), goals (27), assists (25), points (52), power play goals (12), game-winning goals (five), and shots (241). He led Montreal in shots, tied for second on the team in power play goals and game-winning goals, and ranked third in goals. He was also one of only three Canadiens to skate in all 82 games during the season. Higgins registered 11 points (six goals and five assists) in the first 13 games of the season, and went on to surpass the 20-goal plateau for the third straight year.
Higgins appeared in 57 games with the Montreal Canadiens this past season, registering 12 goals and 11 assists for 23 points, along with 22 penalty minutes. He tied for second on the team with two shorthanded goals, and placed sixth on the club with 151 shots despite missing 25 games due to injury. In addition, he led the Canadiens in goals (five) and shots (40) during the month of November. He tallied his first career hat trick on November 11 vs. Ottawa to cap off a season-high, four-game scoring streak that began on November 1 at the New York Islanders, registering six points (four goals and two assists) over the span.
As a rookie in 2005-06, he led Montreal with three shorthanded goals. In addition, Higgins has registered six goals and five assists for 11 points in 22 career postseason contests with Montreal.
The Smithtown, New York native was originally Montreal’s first round choice, 14th overall, in the 2002 NHL Entry Draft.
Also, wanted to give you a heads-up. We’ll have a live video chat Thursday at 1 p.m. to talk about free agency and the Rangers’ summer and whatever else you want to talk about. I believe that the fabulous Laurel Babcock will be joining us. Jane’s on vacation and Josh is off celebrating that he’s 26.
AFTERNOON UPDATE, 3:41 PM: According to ESPN, the Higgins contract is for one year, $2.25 M.
ALSO: FAN-590 in Toronto is reporting that Ottawa has signed Alex Kovalev.