Let’s go back to the ancient year of 2009. That doesn’t feel too long, but it was 14 years ago. Your New York Rangers were looking to move forward, Scott Gomez. They picked him up as a free agent in the summer of 2007 when he signed a 7-year, $51,500,000 contract with an average annual value of $7,357,143 because Glen Sather’s contracts were just something else. He was picked up in free agency from the Devils.
After having a 33-goal season in 2005-06, where he finished with 84 points in 82 games, this seemed like a player that could become a star in the league. But in 2006-07, he seemed to take a step backward when he only produced 13 goals and 47 assists for 60 points in 71 games. As he headed into free agency, the Rangers took the big homerun swing on this player to see if it would work on Broadway.
Seeing the Rangers’ history of chasing star talent wherever possible, this seems on brand. However, this didn’t go too well for the Rangers. In his first season with the Rangers, Gomez had 16 goals and 54 assists for 70 points in 81 games. It’s fine, but this was a lot of money at the time because the salary cap was about $60 million, not the $83.5 million it is now.
In year two of this deal, Gomez had 16 goals and 48 assists for 58 points. This was just a clear indication that he would not be the goal scorer the Rangers were hoping for, so they started to explore the trade market before the opening of free agency in 2009. On June 30th, there was a deal struck between Glen Sather and the Montreal Canadiens that would move Scott Gomez to Quebec.
I’m sure you can already see the big name we’ll get to that makes this trade tree a grand slam for the Rangers, but we’re not there yet. This was designed to be a deal that allowed the Rangers to shift the contract out of town without taking back any major salary, and the Canadiens were willing to try and give Gomez the chance to be what he was back in New Jersey after the lockout.