Scott Gomez

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Scott Gomez
ScottGomez.JPG
Gomez with the New York Rangers in 2008
Born (1979-12-23) December 23, 1979 (age 34)
Anchorage, AK, USA
Height 5 ft 11 in (180 cm)
Weight 215 lb (98 kg; 15 st 5 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
NHL team
Former teams
Free Agent
New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens
San Jose Sharks
Florida Panthers
National team  United States
NHL Draft 27th overall, 1998
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1999–present

Scott Carlos Gomez (born December 23, 1979) is an American ice hockey center who is currently an unrestricted free agent. He is attending the New Jersey Devils' training camp for the 2014–15 season on an unsigned tryout basis.[1] He has previously played with the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, and Florida Panthers.

Playing career[edit]

In the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Scott Gomez was selected with the 27th pick of the first round by the New Jersey Devils. At the time, he was playing for the Tri-City Americans of the WHL, and had just been named to the WHL's All-Rookie Team. In the season after he was drafted, he justified the Devils' decision by scoring 108 points in 58 games for the Americans. This earned him a spot on the WHL West First All-Star Team. The year before, Gomez led the South Surrey Eagles of the Tier II Junior "A" British Columbia Hockey League to the Gold medal game of the 1997 Royal Bank Cup against the hometown Summerside Western Capitals, but Gomez and his South Surrey Eagles were defeated 4-3.

After this impressive WHL performance, Gomez was brought to New Jersey for the 1999–2000 NHL season, making him the 5th Alaskan to play in the NHL. In his rookie NHL season he had 51 assists and 70 points for the Devils. For his efforts, he was awarded the Calder Trophy as the league's top rookie and played in the NHL All-Star Game. Gomez scored 10 points in the 2000 NHL playoffs as the Devils won their second Stanley Cup.

In his sophomore season, Gomez totaled 63 points. The Devils again made their way to the Stanley Cup Finals, but were defeated by the Colorado Avalanche in seven games. In the 2001–02 season, Gomez's numbers dropped, as he scored just 10 goals and 48 points. The Devils bowed out of the playoffs in the first round that season, losing to the Carolina Hurricanes. Gomez did not play a game in that series due to injury. The 2002–03 NHL season was an improvement for Gomez and the Devils. Gomez tallied 55 points and again helped the Devils win the Stanley Cup, this time scoring 12 points during the playoffs. The 2003–04 season was an even better year for Gomez, as he scored 70 points, the most since his rookie year. He also tied for the NHL lead in assists, with 56. However, the Devils lost in the playoffs to the Philadelphia Flyers.

During the NHL lockout that forced the cancellation of the 2004–05 season, Gomez returned to his native hometown of Anchorage, Alaska and played for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL. Throughout the season "Scotty" was the face of the Alaska franchise, and the ECHL; he led the ECHL in scoring and won league Most Valuable Player honors. Gomez's season ended early when he was seriously injured by Bakersfield Condors enforcer Ashlee Langdone, who checked him into an open bench door during game 4 of the Pacific Division Semifinals. Gomez sustained a broken pelvis from the incident.[2]

Despite the lockout, Gomez returned to form in 2005–2006 and set career highs in goals scored and points, tallying a total of 84 points. Along with linemates Brian Gionta, Patrik Eliáš and, before Eliáš' comeback, Zach Parise, Gomez helped rally the Devils from a poor beginning of the season by finishing the season on an 11-game winning streak and clinching the division title in the last game. Gomez finished the 2006 Stanley Cup Playoffs with five goals and four assists in nine games. On July 25, 2006, Devils General Manager Lou Lamoriello accepted an arbitrator's ruling of a $5,000,000, one-year contract for Gomez for the 2006–2007 season. Hence, he would go on to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2007. During the 2006–07 NHL season he led the Devils to the second round of the playoffs and totalled 60 points.

New York Rangers[edit]

On July 1, 2007, Gomez signed a $51.5 million, seven-year contract with the New York Rangers.[3] On the same day, the Rangers signed Chris Drury, who also wears the number 23. To settle who would wear number 23 while playing for the Rangers, a puck was flipped, with Drury winning and earning the right to continue wearing number 23, while Gomez changed his number to 19. Coincidentally, Drury won the Calder Trophy the year before Gomez won the same award.[4] When asked about his decision to leave the Devils, Gomez said,

On February 1, 2008, in a game against his former club, the Devils, Gomez recorded his 500th career point by assisting on a Chris Drury goal.

On October 1, 2008 Scott Gomez and the New York Rangers won the Victoria Cup by beating Metallurg Magnitogorsk by the score of 4-3. On October 3, 2008, Gomez was named an alternate captain of the New York Rangers.

Trade To Montreal[edit]

On June 30, 2009, Gomez was traded by the Rangers, along with Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto, to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Christopher Higgins, Doug Janik, Ryan McDonagh, and Pavel Valentenko.[6] This trade reunited Gomez with former Devils teammate Brian Gionta, who signed with the Canadiens after the Gomez trade. Montreal's acquisition of Gomez drew considerable attention and criticism across various news sources largely because of his lack of production since signing his contract, one of the longest and highest in the NHL.[7] With the Canadiens, Gomez wore the number 91 for the 2009-2010 season (reverse 19) as his former two numbers are retired by the Montreal Canadiens organization (Number 19 of Larry Robinson and the number 23 of Bob Gainey).

For the start of the 2010–11 season, Gomez decided to switch his number from 91 to 11 (previously worn by long-time Canadiens captain Saku Koivu). Gomez decided to wear number 11 because he wore it during his childhood.[8]

During the 2010–11 season on February 5, 2011, Gomez scored a goal which would be his last for more than a year. During this time the Canadiens played in 90 games, although Gomez missed 30 of these games in the 2011-2012 season. Of the games he played in, Gomez failed to score in the final 29 games of the 2010-2011 season, the preceding 7 game playoff against Boston and finally, the first 24 games he played in during the 2011-2012 season for a total scoreless drought of 60 games. Gomez had 22 assists and was a -15 while registering 122 shots on goal during this period. The drought ended on February 9, 2012, with a one-timer goal during a 4-2 victory over the New York Islanders.

2012–13 lockout[edit]

Due to the 2012–13 NHL lockout, Gomez followed his previous steps and opted a return to the Alaska Aces of the ECHL.[9] Initially on a training basis only with the Aces, Gomez signed to play in 2012–13 season, posting 13 points in 11 games.

When the lockout was settled, the new collective agreement directly affected Gomez in two ways - first, it forced teams to count any AHL player's salary above $900,000 against its NHL cap - this meant the Canadiens could not "bury" Gomez's salary by sending him to their AHL affiliate, as had been previously done with players such as Wade Redden, to clear up cap room. Second, it allowed for up to two contracts per team to be bought out for up to two thirds of the remaining salary, without the buyout counting against the cap in the 2013 and/or 2014 off-seasons, so as to help teams get under the reduced cap. However, the buyouts could not be used on injured players, so, to avoid any risk of a hockey-related injury, on January 13, 2013, the first day of the Canadiens training camp, Gomez was directed by G.M. Marc Bergevin to stay home for the shortened season to ensure a buy-out at the end of the season.[10]

While this meant that Gomez (along with Redden who, due to the provision regarding AHL salaries, was in a similar situation) would still have been paid his pro-rated 2012-13 salary despite not playing, the NHLPA was concerned that for Gomez and Redden to be forced to spend an entire year away from hockey would adversely affect their ability to find employment elsewhere in the NHL during the 2013 off-season, even at a much reduced salary. On January 15, in order to avoid this process, the CBA was revised to allow teams to use one of their two compliance buyouts prior to the start of the shortened 2013 season, with the provision that the players bought out in such a way would still be paid their pro-rated but otherwise full 2012-13 salaries (which would still count against the 2012-13 cap), and with the buyout of the subsequent years otherwise proceeding as originally intended.

With the revised agreement in place, Gomez was promptly placed on unconditional waivers and bought out, becoming a free agent on January 17, 2013.[11][12]

San Jose Sharks[edit]

On January 23, 2013, Gomez signed a 1 year $700,000 contract with the San Jose Sharks.[13] Playing in 39 games for the Sharks, Gomez recorded two goals and 13 assists.

Florida Panthers[edit]

On July 31, 2013, Gomez signed a one-year contract with the Florida Panthers.[14] Playing in 46 games for the Panthers, Gomez scored just two goals to go with 10 assists.

Return To New Jersey[edit]

Scott is currently attending the New Jersey Devils' training camp for the 2014–15 season on an unsigned tryout basis.

Awards and achievements[edit]

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1996–97 South Surrey Eagles BCHL 56 48 76 124 94
1997–98 Tri-City Americans WHL 45 12 37 49 57
1998–99 Tri-City Americans WHL 58 30 78 108 55 10 6 13 19 31
1999–00 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 19 51 70 78 23 4 6 10 4
2000–01 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 14 49 63 46 25 5 9 14 24
2001–02 New Jersey Devils NHL 76 10 38 48 36
2002–03 New Jersey Devils NHL 80 13 42 55 48 24 3 9 12 2
2003–04 New Jersey Devils NHL 80 14 56 70 70 5 0 6 6 0
2004–05 Alaska Aces ECHL 61 13 73 86 69 4 1 3 4 4
2005–06 New Jersey Devils NHL 82 33 51 84 42 9 5 4 9 6
2006–07 New Jersey Devils NHL 72 13 47 60 42 11 4 10 14 14
2007–08 New York Rangers NHL 81 16 54 70 36 10 4 7 11 8
2008–09 New York Rangers NHL 77 16 42 58 60 7 2 3 5 4
2009–10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 78 12 47 59 60 19 2 12 14 25
2010–11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 80 7 31 38 48 7 0 4 4 2
2011–12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 38 2 9 11 14
2012–13 Alaska Aces ECHL 11 6 7 13 12
2012–13 San Jose Sharks NHL 39 2 13 15 22 9 0 2 2 6
2013–14 Florida Panthers NHL 46 2 10 12 24
NHL totals 987 173 540 713 626 149 29 72 101 95

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1998 United States WJC 5th 7 1 0 1 2
1999 United States WJC 8th 6 3 7 10 4
2004 United States WCH SF 7 2 1 3 2
2006 United States OG 8th 6 1 4 5 10
Junior totals 13 4 7 11 6
Senior totals 11 2 7 9 10

References[edit]

  1. ^ Chere, Rich (August 27, 2014). "Devils invite Scott Gomez to training camp on unsigned tryout basis". New Jersey Star Ledger. Retrieved August 28, 2014. 
  2. ^ "Gomez breaks pelvis in ECHL game". The Sports Network. 2005-05-22. Retrieved 2005-05-23. 
  3. ^ "Rangers ink Gomez and Drury". Associated Press. 2007-07-02. Archived from the original on 2007-12-25. Retrieved 2008-02-02. 
  4. ^ "New Rangers Drury, Gomez Get Heroes' Welcome". New York Rangers. 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-07-02. 
  5. ^ "Two centers arrive in New York with one goal". National Hockey League. 2007-07-01. Retrieved 2007-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Montreal Canadiens acquire Scott Gomez from New York Rangers". ESPN. 2009-06-30. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  7. ^ "Gomez Trade Reax: Rangers drain the poison, Habs get fleeced". Yahoo! Sports. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2009-07-01. 
  8. ^ "Habs' Gomez switches". Montreal Gazette. 2010-09-29. Retrieved 2010-10-02. 
  9. ^ "Gomez returns to Alaska Aces during NHL lockout". Yahoo! Sports. 2012-11-07. Retrieved 2012-11-07. 
  10. ^ "Canadiens tell Gomez not to report to team this season". The Sports Network. 2013-01-13. Retrieved 2013-01-13. 
  11. ^ "NHL, NHLPA agree to an accelerated buy-out period". The Sports Network. 2013-01-15. Retrieved 2013-01-15. 
  12. ^ "Gomez, Redden clear waivers, become free agents". The Sports Network. 2013-01-17. Retrieved 2013-01-17. 
  13. ^ "Former Canadiens C Gomez signs with Sharks". Yahoo! Sports. 2013-01-23. Retrieved 2013-01-23. 
  14. ^ "Scott Gomez will play in Florida". lapresse.ca. 2013-07-31. Retrieved 2013-07-31. 

External links[edit]

Preceded by
Mike Van Ryn
New Jersey Devils first round draft pick
1998
Succeeded by
Ari Ahonen
Preceded by
Chris Drury
Winner of the Calder Trophy
2000
Succeeded by
Evgeni Nabokov