36-Year-Old Center – Free Agent
Scott Gomez Contract Information:
Signed a one-year deal with Ottawa, worth $575,000 prorated for the remainder of the season after being released from professional tryout contract with AHL Hershey in March 2016.
Gomez finished the 2015-16 season with a goal and eight assists in 34 games.
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RotoWire's Preseason Outlooks
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Itís been a while since the veteran center had his streak of consecutive seasons with 70, 84, 60, 70, 58 and 59 points. In fact, Gomez is a long way from being that player. In 2010-11, he finished with 38 points in 80 games, followed by 11 points in 38 games in 2011-12 and 15 points in 39 games last season with the Sharks. At 34, it seems that Gomezís best days are behind him. Still, donít underestimate his value to a Panthers team thatís long on young talent and short on the kind of veteran leadership Gomez can provide. Temper your expectations and pay attention to what kind of a role the Panthers put him in, but he could be a sneaky, last-round pick in a deep league.
Injuries limited Gomez to just 38 games and 11 points in 2011-12, but there's more to his drop in production than just injuries. Gomez saw his minutes dwindle when he was healthy (14:08 per game) in those 38 contests. His albatross of a contract makes it incresingly tough for him to succeed in the eyes of Canadiens' followers. Montreal announced in January that Gomez will sit out the season with the intention of buying out his contract in the summer.
The burden of a large contract is what Gomez is dealing with in Montreal. At an average annual value of $7 million, the expectation is that Gomez should produce more than 38 points and a minus-15. Montreal coach Jacques Martin didn't have the available horses to sit Gomez or reduce his minutes in 2010-11, nor will he this season. Martin needs Gomez to play better and smarter hockey. He'll continue to skate on one of the top two lines, most often with Brian Gionta and Max Pacioretty.
Gomez had a very similar campaign in 2009-10 as compared to the previous five seasons. He finished up last year with 12 goals and 47 assists, good enough for a very consistent and mediocre 59 points. Gomez has finished with similar numbers the past five seasons, always finishing in the mid- to upper-50's in points. It's a pretty safe bet to expect the same from Gomez this season as the assists will still come but the goals will be few and far between.
Gomez had one of the worst seasons of his nine year career last season. The center managed just 58 points (16 G, 42 A) and a minus-2 rating in 77 games, while playing the most minutes of his career. It was his lowest point total since 2002-03 when he had 55 and worst plus-minus since 2001-02. He has steadily been in or around the teens in goals throughout his career except when he netted 33 in 2005-06, which was the only time he scored more than 19. Maybe a change of scenery will help bolster his production, but donít count on anything. Look for another 15 or so goals and about 45 assists from Gomez this season.
Gomez only had 16 goals his first season in New York, but did accumulate 54 assists. With the departure of Jaromir Jagr, Gomez now becomes the number one offensive threat on the Rangers which also means teams will game plan for him appropriately.
One of the major free agent signings of this offseason, Gomez is certainly out to prove that's worth the big bucks. Vastly underrated and underutilized in New Jersey, this season will be a coming out party for the Alaskan native. This stud will get his chance to showcase all of his skills as he centers a line with Jaromir Jagr and Martin Straka. Itís also possible that Gomez will see some minutes with Brendan Shanahan and Sean Avery, but thatís only because head coach Tom Renney likes to experiment with his lines and mix things up; however his production should not drop in either case. When it's all said and done however, he should easily set career highs in all the offensive marks this upcoming season, and will almost certainly be an early round selection in most drafts.
Gomez made a quantum leap in the scoring department last season, notching 33 goals -- 14 more than his previous career high -- to go along with his usual 50-plus assists, finishing with 51 and 84 points. He also shot the puck more, averaging 2.98 shots as opposed to 2.37 and 2.56 in the previous two seasons. It will be interesting to see if he can post 33 again, but if he doesn't, it likely won't be under 20. He's in a contract year after winning an arbitration hearing and being awarded $5 million per year. Gomez remains one of the catalysts on the team and centers that can score 30 or more aren't exactly plentiful. He's a strong option once the top centers are gone and he'll notch plenty of power play points after tallying 33 last season.
One of the top scorers in the second half of the 2004 season, Gomez is a gifted passer and has had more than 40 helpers in all but one of his five NHL seasons. Likely to be skating with Alex Mogilny, he could make a run at 70 points again and will rack up the power play assists as well. As for goals, he has never scored 20, as his value lies mostly with assists. He could be a nice middle-round selection and source of assists.