higgins-chris-081111

Chris Higgins (21) was traded to the Rangers last Tuesday. ((Frank Gunn/Canadian Press))

Restricted free-agent forward Chris Higgins reached terms on a one-year, $2.25-million US contract with the New York Rangers on Monday.

Higgins, 26, was traded to New York last Tuesday by the Montreal Canadiens, who paid him $1.7 million US last season. 

The Rangers received Higgins, defencemen Doug Janik, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko for forward Scott Gomez, forward Tom Pyatt and defenceman Mike Busto.

"I have always thought the Rangers had a strong club," Higgins said. "They have always been a very difficult team to play against, especially now with [John] Tortorella coaching.

"I think I fit in well into their aggressive style. I skate well and pride myself on work ethic, so hopefully I will be able to find a role on this team and help contribute as soon as possible."

"He is a guy that has the ability to score some goals," Rangers president and general manager Glen Sather pointed out. "We think he is a terrific player."

Higgins is a three-time 20-goal scorer with 84 goals and 67 assists for 151 points in 282 games over five NHL seasons, all with Montreal.

Hampered by groin and shoulder problems last season, he finished with career lows in goals (12), assists (11), points (23) and games played (57).

The previous season, he set career highs in goals (27), assists (25), points (52), games played (82) and shots (241).

"I think Glen sees me as a guy who can put the puck in the net," Higgins said. "But I think I'm  a worker before a scorer.

"I just like to bring energy and play wiht a relentless style out there. Hopefully, I can find a role on some line."

Higgins, from Smithtown, N.Y., was selected 14th overall by Montreal in the 2002 NHL draft.

With files from The Associated Press