Will Gomez be option for Leafs?

LANCE HORNBY -- Sun Media

, Last Updated: 1:02 PM ET

NEW YORK -- Career New Jersey Devil Scott Gomez could be finished in the Meadowlands, begging the question if the Maple Leafs will make a serious pitch for him this summer.

Gomez was non-commital on a return when questioned by the New Jersey media on his free agency plans after the Devils were eliminated by Ottawa on Saturday night.

"I've grown up in New Jersey, it's not just about hockey," Gomez said at one point, but also acknowledged he might have seen the last of some long-time teammates. Gomez won a $5 million US salary arbitration award from the frugal Devils last year.

With no visible star in the system, the Leafs have started to look down the road at replacing Mats Sundin. They first would have to come to a cap-friendly agreement with Sundin on a new deal, shed some contract money elsewhere and stretch next year's expanded $47 million cap to the max to sign anyone of note.

JAGR DEFIANT

Despite his team's status as underdogs, Rangers star Jaromir Jagr thought New York had the horses to reach the Stanley Cup final.

"They are a great team, but they aren't better," Jagr said after yesterday's 5-4 loss to the Buffalo Sabres. "(It was) odd-man rushes. We said that all series long. We had to be careful. We didn't lose it, we just gave it to them."

Jagr scored his 72nd career playoff goal, tying him with Esa Tikkanen for 13th in NHL history.

BRIEFLY

The Ottawa Senators finished eight points behind Buffalo in the regular season, but won five of eight meetings, four of those defeats absorbed by goalie Ryan Miller ... Rangers coach Tom Renney tried one lineup change yesterday, dropping forward Brad Isbister for minor-league scoring leader Nigel Dawes ... The Rangers were the last undefeated playoff team at home and had gone 9-0 at Madison Square Garden before yesterday.


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