The rumor surfaced last week, and today the Rangers
confirmed it by announcing that they have signed unrestricted free agent
defenseman, Greg de Vries. The former Avalanche defenseman was
reported to have signed a four year $13 million deal, and will bolster a
defensive corps that lost several players to free agency this summer.
The 30 year old elected to go the free agency route when
he became a Group V free agent (10 years in the NHL and making less than the
league average salary). Through his agent, de Vries indicated that he was
looking to step out of the shadows of his former Avalanche team mates, and he
will certainly have the opportunity to do just that on a New York Rangers team
well known for it's defensive problems in recent years.
This will mark the third time in the past five years that
the Rangers have gone to Colorado to sign a free agent. In the past five
years New York has signed Fleury, Kamensky, Lefebvre (1999) and Kasparaitis
Originally signed as an undrafted free agent in 1993
by the Edmonton Oilers, de Vries will join his fourth NHL team (Edmonton,
Nashville and Colorado). The 6' 2", 211lb defenseman has played
500 NHL games and has 30 goals, 69 assists and 459 penalty minutes.