The New York Rangers did not wait for left wing Adam Graves to become a free agent, rewarding the NHL's seventh-leading goal-scorer today with a multi-year contract.
Financial terms were not disclosed.
Graves, 30, has carried the team back into the playoff race in the absence of superstar center Wayne Gretzky. His latest heroics came Sunday on Long Island, when he scored in overtime for a 3-2 victory over the archrival Islanders. With the win, the Rangers moved within two points of the Boston Bruins for the eighth and final postseason spot in the Eastern Conference.
Graves leads the Rangers with 33 goals and also has 12 assists in 67 games this season. He is tied for fourth in the league with 13 power-play goals and seven game-winners.
Although he is not their most talented or flashy player, Graves is highly regarded for his leadership qualities and is the Rangers' heart and soul. He is also the only 50-goal scorer in the team's long history.
Graves scored 52 goals in 1993-94, helping the Rangers end their 50-year Stanley Cup drought. He also won a Stanley Cup with the Oilers in 1990, joining Martin Gelinas and Joe Murphy on the "Kid Line."
He was a Second-Team NHL All-Star in 1993-94 and appeared in his only All-Star Game that season.
Graves also is a major contributor to the community. He won the King Clancy Award in 1993-94, becomming the only Rangers player to receive the honor for leadership on and off the ice and community service.
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