On the eve of the NHL free-agent shopping season, New York sent Gomez and his big contract that has five years remaining to Montreal on Tuesday with minor leaguers Tom Pyatt and Mike Busto. Along with Higgins, a Long Island native, the Rangers are receiving defensemen Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko from the Canadiens.
Gomez never really found his stride in New York after leaving the New Jersey Devils as a free agent two summers ago. He is signed through the 2013-14 season with a salary-cap hit of $7.35 million a year.
Copyright 2009 The Associated Press.