Forward Scott Gomez, who won two Stanley Cups with the New Jersey Devils in 2000 and 2003, has been signed to a professional tryout agreement by the Washington Capitals’ American Hockey League affiliate in Hershey, the team announced.
In 21 games with the St. Louis Blues this season, the 36-year-old recorded eight points (one goal and seven assists) before the Blues placed him on unconditional waivers on Dec. 30. In 2014-15, Gomez had 34 points (seven goals and 27 assists) in 58 games with the Devils, finishing tied for third on the team in scoring. Gomez has 755 points (181 goals and 574 assists) over parts of 16 seasons, and he’s scored 101 points (29 goals and 72 assists) in 149 career Stanley Cup playoff games.
This will be Gomez’s first AHL stint. Professional tryouts (PTO) in the AHL are limited to 25 games and a player can only sign two per season. After the second, the player is either signed to a standard contract or is a free agent. Since he’s not signed to a contract with the Capitals, Washington would not be able to recall him unless they signed him to a deal with the organization.
“I think it’s good,” Capitals Coach Barry Trotz said. “We’re a little thin there because of the center-ice injuries and call-ups and all of those things, so Scott has been a really good pro in the league for a long time. He’s got a real high skill set. Especially at the American level, he should be able to help a [Jakub] Vrana, who should be back fairly soon here, and some of our younger people. A guy like Chandler Stephenson can learn from a Scott Gomez.
“There’s a lot of good things that Scott can bring, and that’s a good add by Hershey. Not too many times Scott Gomez will come around and add him to your roster in the American Hockey League. Good on them to do that, and that’ll help the kids and help the team and give them some more depth at that center-ice position.”
Gomez had joined the Blues through a PTO in the preseason, and his decision to accept a Blues tryout was helped by former Capitals Coach Adam Oates, whom Gomez had hired as a paid consultant.
“That guy brought me back from the dead,” Gomez said, per the Star-Ledger. “You bet I was going to take advantage.”