Veteran center Scott Gomez has logged some miles over the past few seasons.
When the lockout ended in January 2013, Gomez, who had played during the work stoppage with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces, was bought out by the Montreal Canadiens and went on to play the 2012-13 campaign with the San Jose Sharks on a one-year deal. That landed him a job with the Florida Panthers the following year, which turned into a run with the New Jersey Devils in 2014-15 and a short stay with the St. Louis Blues earlier this season.
The agreement with St. Louis ended, though, and Gomez headed to the AHL, where he scored four goals and 24 points in 18 games as a member of the Washington Capitals affiliate Hershey Bears. The Bears announced Gomez had exercised his option for release Tuesday, and now we know why: he’s joining his seventh team in the past four seasons. Gomez signed a pro-rated one-year, $575,000 deal with the Ottawa Senators Wednesday.
He’ll likely get a similar role in Ottawa as the one he had in New Jersey during the 2014-15 season, especially given his signing comes following the Senators’ announcement that Kyle Turris will be out indefinitely with a high-ankle sprain. Gomez is undoubtedly no replacement for Turris, but the Senators are thin down the middle and Gomez at least offers some offensive ability.
Gomez was given second- and third-line minutes with the Devils in 2014-15 and managed seven goals and 34 points in 58 games. He was used as a second power play option in New Jersey, too, skating nearly two minutes per game with the extra man. He registered 14 power play assists, too, which tied him for 36th in that category last season. Gomez’s production made him an interesting option in the off-season for teams looking for a depth forward, and it helped him land a spot with the Blues. However, he wasn’t used much in St. Louis, and spent most of his time playing a fourth-line role.
During his time with the Blues earlier this season, Gomez managed to get into 21 games, in large part because St. Louis couldn’t stay healthy. Gomez skated 11:15 per game, scored one goal and eight points, with four assists with the extra man. Once the Blues began to get healthy, though, Gomez was waived and released, which led to his deal with the Bears.
It should be noted, though, that there’s an interesting wrinkle in Gomez’s deal. Because he signed post-trade deadline, Gomez will be ineligible to play in the playoffs should the Senators manage to make their way into one of the wild-card spots. Ottawa is currently five points out of a post-season spot.