As expected, the Montreal Canadiens have placed Center Scott Gomez on waivers. The deadline for Gomez to clear waivers (which he is expected to do) is noon on Thursday, after which the Habs will offer Gomez his buyout cash for the two remaining seasons on his contract. If Gomez agrees (which he also is expected to do), he then becomes an unrestricted free agent and his nightmare in La Belle Province officially ends.
Once Gomez becomes a free agent, would there be interest from any of the contending teams to sign the 33 year old veteran? Due to his last couple of unproductive seasons and low asking price (he is being paid in full by the Habs this season), Gomez would be low risk and has the potential of adding value to a team.
More importantly, Gomez brings with him playoff experience, winning two Stanley Cups with New Jersey and having played in 140 NHL postseason games, scoring 29 goals and accumulating 99 points. In 2009-10, Gomez was part of the Habs team which made it to the Eastern Conference Finals, losing to the Philadelphia Flyers in five games. Gomez had 2 goals and 12 assists in 19 games during the Canadiens playoff run.
Recently, Gomez’ former teammate C Patrik Elias stated one reason for Gomez’ previous success was that he was under great structure during his seven seasons with the New Jersey Devils. If structure is what Gomez requires, there are few better coaches than John Tortorella of the New York Rangers to instill it in him.
In fact, Gomez played the final 21 games of the season for Tortorella during the Rangers 2008-09 season. In a 2009 interview, Gomez stated, “One thing about John Tortorella is that it’s his way or it’s no way.”
With the Rangers Acquiring LW Rick Nash via trade from the Columbus Blue Jackets during the offseason, they are one of the Stanley Cup favorites during this lockout shortened 48 game season. Would the Rangers be interested in having a look at the playoff seasoned veteran to help them with their run this season. Gomez is not only familiar with playoff hockey, he is also familiar with the New York metropolitan area. The only question is his game.
At an average of 27.47 years of age, the Rangers were the in the league during the 2011-12 NHL season. The Broadway Blues also made waiver news today, by releasing veteran 35 year old D Wade Redden. Although Redden did not fit into New York’s plans, could it be that another veteran does, even if it is in a limited capacity?
Apparently, veterans on your roster do help, as the oldest team in the league last season, the New Jersey Devils, found out by making it all the way to the Stanley Cup Finals, prior to losing to the Los Angeles Kings.
One thing is for certain: if Gomez does latch on with the Rangers or another contending team, he will thank his lucky stars he gets another opportunity to raise a third cup in his career.