New York Rangers sign star centres Scott Gomez and Chris Drury

The Rangers signed star centres Scott Gomez and Chris Drury to multi-year contracts on Sunday, nabbing two of the most highly sought-after unrestricted free agents.

Gomez signed a $51.5-million, seven-year contract. The 27-year-old had 60 points (13-47) in 72 games with the New Jersey Devils last season, the only NHL club he’s ever played for. He had a career-high 84 points (33-51) in 82 games in 2005-06.

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The 30-year-old Drury, who grew up a Rangers fan in Connecticut, inked a $35.25-million, five-year deal. Drury had a career-high 69 points (37-32) in 77 games with the Buffalo Sabres last season.

The signings should make the Rangers instant contenders in the Eastern Conference, where they advanced to the second round of the 2007 playoffs before falling in six games to the Buffalo Sabres.