|In 38 games last season, Gomez had two goals and nine assists.. (Getty Images)|
Since he was bought out by the Canadiens just before the season, Gomez has been looking for a new job and seemed to land with the Sharks right away. He has been travelling with the team since the season began as the team mulled its options, and Wednesday they made up their minds they would sign him.
Here are the money details from Kevin Kurz of CSN Bay Area:
It's official. #SJSharks will sign Scott Gomez today to a one-year deal worth $700,000.— Kevin Kurz (@KKurzCSN) January 23, 2013
That deal, like all others this season, would obviously be prorated, but I don't think Gomez will care much about the money at this point; he's still getting plenty of that from the Canadiens. This is about getting the chance to play.
Gomez has been the butt of jokes for a few years now as his performance on the ice didn't come close to matching his salary. However, he was a victim of his own success/contract in that regard, and people came to associate Gomez with failure. But it's not like the Sharks are just doing the guy a favor here. He can still play.
Just two seasons ago with the Canadiens, Gomez played in 80 games and had a modest seven goals with 31 assists. Again, that's quite awful compared to the $7 million-plus salary he had. But for a player with a much smaller contract, it's not bad at all. He's a playmaker and always has been. His 33 goals in 2005-06 were the outlier in his career, and he has always put up big assist numbers.
With Joe Thornton and Logan Couture already in Sharks sweaters, Gomez won't be asked to be a top-line guy and carry the offense. He'll be in a more reduced role and get a chance to make some plays on one of the lower lines. At this point, that's all that he could ask for.
The one-year deal certainly isn't unexpected, but it could give Gomez a little more incentive to work hard. This is his chance to prove he's still worth a contract from an NHL team, and he'll get to use the short season to audition, presumably for the Sharks first and foremost.
It's rather interesting how this has worked out. Just a few weeks ago Gomez was seen as the most overpaid player in the game. Now, he might be one of the game's biggest bargains.
In 902 career games with the Devils, Rangers and Canadiens, Gomez had 169 goals and 517 assists. He turned 33 two days before Christmas.