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Scott Gomez
Scott Gomez Canadiens 2012.jpg
Born December 23 1979 (1979-12-23) (age 37),
Anchorage, Alaska
Height
Weight
5 ft 11 in (1.8 m)
200 lb (91 kg; 14 st 4 lb)
Position Center
Shoots Left
Pro clubs New Jersey Devils
New York Rangers
Montreal Canadiens
San Jose Sharks
Florida Panthers
St. Louis Blues
Ottawa Senators
Ntl. team Flag of the United States United States of America
NHL Draft 27th overall, 1998
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 1999–2016


Scott Carlos Gomez, also commonly known as "SG23" (born December 23, 1979) is an American former professional ice hockey player. Gomez had previously played in the National Hockey League (NHL) with the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators.

Playing careerEdit

New Jersey DevilsEdit

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 Western Hockey League (WHL) and had just been named to the WHL's All-Rookie Team. He also played for the Alaska Aces. 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 fifth 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 Memorial Trophy as the league's top rookie and played in the NHL All-Star Game in Toronto. Gomez scored 10 points in the 2000 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 season, however, 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 initially went to Russia, but ultimately decided to return to his native hometown of Anchorage, Alaska, and played for the Alaska Aces of the ECHL.[1] Throughout the season, "Scotty" was the face of the Alaska franchise, as well as 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 2005–06 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 million, one-year contract for Gomez for the 2006–07 season. Hence, he would go on to be an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2007. During the 2006–07 season, he led the Devils to the second round of the playoffs and totalled 60 points.

ScottGomez

Gomez with the New York Rangers in 2008.

New York RangersEdit

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 Memorial Trophy the year before Gomez won the same award.[4] When asked about his decision to leave the Devils, Gomez said,

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.[5]

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, 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.

Montreal CanadiensEdit

On June 30, 2009, Gomez was traded by the Rangers, along with Tom Pyatt and Michael Busto, to the Montreal Canadiens in exchange for Chris Higgins, Doug Janik, Ryan McDonagh and Pavel Valentenko.[6] The 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 2009–10 season (a reverse of number 19) as his former two numbers are retired by the 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 2011–12 season. Of the games he played in, Gomez failed to score in the final 29 games of the 2010–11 season, the preceding seven-game playoff series against the Boston Bruins and the first 24 games he played in during the 2011–12 season – a total scoreless drought of 60 games. Gomez had 22 assists and had a plus-minus rating of −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 lockoutEdit

Due to the 2012–13 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 bargaining agreement (CBA) directly affected Gomez in two ways — first, it forced teams to count any American Hockey League (AHL) player's salary above $900,000 against its NHL cap, meaning 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 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 General Manager 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 Wade 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 NHL Players' Association (NHLPA) was concerned that Gomez and Redden being 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 & Florida PanthersEdit

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

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, St. Louis Blues and Hershey BearsEdit

Gomez returned to familiar grounds in attending the New Jersey Devils' training camp for the 2014–15 season on an unsigned try-out basis. On December 1, 2014, the Devils signed him to a one-year contract.[15] On December 28, 2014, he participated in his 1,000th NHL game.[16] Gomez rediscovered his scoring touch with the Devils, amassing his best offensive output since 2011, finishing third amongst the Devils with 34 points in 58 games.

With the Devils signalling an end of an era through managerial changes and with the intent to build a younger roster, Gomez was not tendered a new contract by the Devils. As a free agent, Gomez again accepted a try-out basis contract to attend the St. Louis Blues training camp for the 2015–16 season on August 27, 2015.[17] On October 7, he signed a one-year two-way contract with the Blues worth $575,000 to begin the 2015–16 season. Gomez was used primarily on the powerplay with the Blues, and contributed with 8 points in 21 games. With the club returning to health and in need of roster positions, on December 29, 2015, he was placed on waivers by the team. Upon clearing, Gomez requested a release from his contract with the Blues and was placed on unconditional waivers by the Blues in order to return to free agency.[18]

Gomez continued his season in the new-year by signing with the Hershey Bears of the AHL, an affiliate to the Washington Capitals, on a professional try-out contract on January 14, 2016.[19] Gomez exercised the release from his tryout contract on March 1, 2016.[20]

Ottawa SenatorsEdit

After the Senators' first line Center, Kyle Turris, was placed on injury reserve, Gomez was signed as an unrestricted free agent by the Ottawa Senators for $575,000 on March 2, 2016. [21]

On August 31, 2016, Gomez announced his retirement from professional hockey.[22][23]

Career statisticsEdit

Regular season and playoffsEdit

    Regular season   Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
1996–97South Surrey EaglesBCHL56487612494
1997–98Tri-City AmericansWHL4512374957
1998–99Tri-City AmericansWHL58307810855106131931
1999–00New Jersey DevilsNHL82195170782346104
2000–01New Jersey DevilsNHL761449634625591424
2001–02New Jersey DevilsNHL7610384836
2002–03New Jersey DevilsNHL80134255482439122
2003–04New Jersey DevilsNHL801456707050660
2004–05Alaska AcesECHL611373866941344
2005–06New Jersey DevilsNHL823351844295496
2006–07New Jersey DevilsNHL7213476042114101414
2007–08New York RangersNHL81165470361047118
2008–09New York RangersNHL771642586072354
2009–10Montreal CanadiensNHL7812475960192121425
2010–11Montreal CanadiensNHL80731384870442
2011–12Montreal CanadiensNHL38291114
2012–13Alaska AcesECHL11671312
2012–13San Jose SharksNHL39213152290226
2013–14Florida PanthersNHL462101224
2014–15New Jersey DevilsNHL587273423
2015–16St. Louis BluesNHL211784
2015–16Hershey BearsAHL18420240
2015–16Ottawa SenatorsNHL130112
NHL totals 1079 181 575 756 655 149 29 72 101 95

InternationalEdit

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

Awards and achievementsEdit

See alsoEdit

ReferencesEdit

  1. Gulitti, Tom (2016-11-27). ECHL grows into starting point toward NHL. NHL.com. Retrieved on 2016-12-23.
  2. Gomez breaks pelvis in ECHL game. The Sports Network (May 22, 2005). Retrieved on May 23, 2005.
  3. "Rangers ink Gomez and Drury", Associated Press, July 2, 2007. Retrieved on February 2, 2008. Archived from the original on December 25, 2007. 
  4. New Rangers Drury, Gomez Get Heroes' Welcome. New York Rangers (July 1, 2007). Retrieved on July 2, 2007.
  5. Two centers arrive in New York with one goal. National Hockey League (July 1, 2007). Retrieved on July 1, 2007.
  6. Montreal Canadiens acquire Scott Gomez from New York Rangers. ESPN (June 30, 2009). Retrieved on July 1, 2009.
  7. Gomez Trade Reax: Rangers drain the poison, Habs get fleeced. Yahoo! Sports (July 1, 2009). Retrieved on July 1, 2009.
  8. Habs' Gomez switches. Montreal Gazette (September 29, 2010). Retrieved on October 2, 2010.
  9. Gomez returns to Alaska Aces during NHL lockout. Yahoo! Sports (November 7, 2012). Retrieved on November 7, 2012.
  10. Canadiens tell Gomez not to report to team this season. The Sports Network (January 13, 2013). Retrieved on January 13, 2013.
  11. NHL, NHLPA agree to an accelerated buy-out period. The Sports Network (January 15, 2013). Retrieved on January 15, 2013.
  12. Gomez, Redden clear waivers, become free agents. The Sports Network (January 17, 2013). Retrieved on January 17, 2013.
  13. Former Canadiens C Gomez signs with Sharks. Yahoo! Sports (January 23, 2013). Retrieved on January 23, 2013.
  14. Scott Gomez will play in Florida. lapresse.ca (July 31, 2013). Retrieved on July 31, 2013.
  15. "Scott Gomez rejoins NJ Devils". Yahoo! Sports (December 1, 2014). Retrieved on December 1, 2014.
  16. Devils fall 3–1 to Rangers in first game of Scott Stevens-Adam Oates era: Rapid Reaction. NJ.com (December 27, 2014). Retrieved on December 28, 2014.
  17. "Blues invite Gomez, four others to training camp". National Hockey League (August 27, 2015). Retrieved on August 27, 2015.
  18. "Scott Gomez placed on unconditional waivers by the Blues". Yahoo! Sports (December 30, 2015). Retrieved on December 30, 2015.
  19. "Bears sign Scott Gomez to professional tryout". American Hockey League (January 14, 2016). Retrieved on January 14, 2016.
  20. Scott Gomez exercises release from Hershey Bears tryout.
  21. "Sens sign F Gomez to one-year contract". TSN (March 2, 2016). Retrieved on March 2, 2016.
  22. Rink retirement: Standard-bearer Scott Gomez calls it a career after 16 seasons in the NHL. Retrieved on September 1, 2016.
  23. Scott Gomez retires after 16 NHL seasons: report (September 1, 2016). Retrieved on September 1, 2016.

External linksEdit

Awards and achievements
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

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