Kukla's Korner Hockey
by Paul on 09/03/13 at 06:15 PM ET
from Harvey Fialkov of the Sun Sentinel,
The 5-foot-11 Gomez is quick to point out that he's a young 33, and while he's happy to serve as a mentor, he signed a one-year, $900,000 contract to rekindle a stalled career and return to the playoffs for the 12th time in his 14th NHL season.
While he's known for finishing plays (701 points in 941 career games), Gomez had trouble completing sentences when asked to rehash his ignominious departure from Montreal last year, when General Manager Marc Bergevin bought out the final two seasons ($10 million) of an inherited $51.5 million deal from the Rangers to save $7.3 million of salary-cap space.
Gomez, who averaged 64 points in his first 10 seasons, including 59 points in his first season in Montreal, slipped to 38 points in 2010-11 and just 11 points in 38 games in an injury-plagued 2011-12. He was lambasted in the hockey-crazed Canadian media and scorned by Habs' fans.
Bergevin told Gomez he'd have to stay at home and sit out the shortened lockout season to avoid injury which would void the buyout. However, two 'amnesty' buyouts were put in the revised CBA, thus allowing the Canadiens to waive Gomez without salary-cap implications.
The Sharks picked him up for $700,000 and Gomez notched 15 points in 39 games as well as two assists in nine playoff games.
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