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by Staff Writer / New York Rangers
Drury, Gomez Get Heroes' Welcome to New York

On Monday at the Madison Square Garden Training Center, new Rangers centers Chris Drury and Scott Gomez met with the local media. Here is a transcript of some questions and answers from that session:

Question: How did you guys find out that you were both in this (negotiating with the Rangers) and did you have any inkling?

Gomez: Well, I signed and it wasn't announced yet, so I figured that something was going on. We have a mutual friend, and I called Chris and I found out that he was thinking about New York and wow! And he signed, and I forget everything else that happened. I think was most excited to have Chris Drury on your team. I want to come here to win, and by the end of the day to come here and he's on your team your chances go up tremendously. That's what I was most excited about yesterday.

Question: Do you think the Rangers will be viewed as a (Stanley Cup) favorite with both you guys now?

Drury:: I don't know. I don't put too much thought into saying who's favorites and not. We just got to go play.

Question: There's been a big shakeup in the Eastern Conference now. How do you think that'll affect the standings?

Gomez: Well, like Chris said, we'll see what happens. Things have got to jell. Things have to mix well. I think this team's just got the common goal. We want to win the Stanley Cup. I think when you think that, it doesn't really matter where you're standing now, as long as that's the common goal. I know I've been talking to a lot of the guys in the locker room and that's one of the reasons we came.

Question for Gomez: The Devils have an extra hurdle to jump with big money and Ranger fans. Are you ready for that?

Gomez: Yeah definitely. There's only one stage, and that's New York. That's the biggest stage there is in the world, Madison Square Garden. There's pressure, but that's what makes it fun when you go to work everyday. The fans are great. They expect it. They want to see you do it again. It's not just one night you got to be good. It has to be constant. It's kind of like Jersey fans too. Maybe a little smaller, but I'm ready for it. I'm ready for the challenge and I'm looking forward to it.

Question for Gomez: Was there possibility that you were going back to New Jersey?

Gomez: I think it's more that New Jersey and I didn't really talk much. Both sides were ready to move on. They're a tremendous organization. So many memories, what can I say? Everything I have and everything I've done is because of them. But I think at the end of the day, it was time.

Question for Drury: I'm guessing that you wanted to wear that uniform for a long time. Can you talk about that growing up?

Drury: Yeah, I mean, as a kid this was the team, where I'm from there's definitely nothing better than the Rangers. Watching them win the Cup, I was a little bit older, but Madison Square Garden, Brian Leetch, the Rangers, this is just the place.

Question: Was it difficult decision for both of you in terms of other offers?

Gomez: I mean it was more of what is the other guy going to do. Everyone was waiting, but towards the end New York offered everything -- the city, the atmosphere, everything you would want. But most of all, I think this team is ready to win, you can just feel the buzz around them and that starts with the goaltending, I think. Playing against them they just have so much confidence. Out of the other teams, I felt like this was the place I could win in.

Drury:: After playing them in the playoffs I saw how good (Henrik) Lundqvist is, and now we're ready to take the next step

Question for Drury: How much of this was an emotional decision?

Drury: I tried not to let that be a factor and just tried to make the best decision possible

Question for Drury: Do you think you can handle all this pressure? It's a different town than, say, Colorado.

Drury: I feel I can handle the pressure. I'll just come to the rink everyday and just work hard. Just focus on that and I'll be in good shape.

Question for Drury: How was playing at the Garden in the playoffs?

Drury: Obviously, it was just such a thrill to see it first-hand, to see how loud it was and how crazy it can get. Those two games where they beat us definitely had an impact.

Question: When did it pop into your head that the Garden could be your home?

Gomez: Well for me just realizing which teams were interested and I love the area, and I love all of you guys (local media). Also, the team can really win, and let's face it, there's one New York City, there is nothing like it. Talking to the guys, even Bobby Holik, who didn't do great but only had great things to say about the organization, you want the challenge. You're a hockey player, it's what it's all about. It is the biggest stage.

Question for Gomez: What about Chris makes you so excited to sign?

Gomez: Well, it's Chris Drury for one. His track record speaks for itself. Everything worked out perfect yesterday, but he is such a winner, he is a great guy, being in the locker room with him, just the presence around him means so much. He took a Stanley Cup from me. He is a playoff guy. To come to New York with him and try to be a piece of the puzzle, it just doesn't get any better than this.

Question for Gomez: Who else on the Rangers have you spoken to?

Gomez: I've spoken to (Sean) Avery, Shanny (Brendan Shanahan). (Brian) Leetch texted me. Especially last year, you could feel the buzz coming into the city. It's a great group of guys, players and coaches.

Question for Gomez: You played in a very defensively oriented team for a while, how do you look at this team?

Gomez: It's really a misconception that the Devils are only about the defense. Maybe I can be a little more offensive here. I think I really get the feeling here that we can win every game and achieve our ultimate goal.

Question for Drury: You've been labeled a winner. What does that mean?

Drury: It's really nice, I've been pretty fortunate to be around some great players. Hockey is a team sport, though.

Question for Drury: Chris, do you get the sense in the last day that there was any sense in betrayal in Buffalo?

Drury: It's a business, and it really comes down to that. I enjoyed my time there, but it's a business.
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