If you told me that I would have to do a Scott Gomez preview before the season started, I would probably say you’re insane. Then again, I’m not surprised I’m typing this out right now.
In case you have missed the recent news, Scott Gomez was signed to a professional tryout with the New Jersey team ahead of this year’s training camp. Gomez has plenty of history with the New Jersey Devils including the game-winning goal in the 2002-03 Stanley Cup Finals.
Unfortunately, there is also some bad history. Gomez famously chose the New York Rangers over the Devils in a moment that just about every Devils fan will never forget. It’s the moment that Patrik Elias came so close to doing, but never happened.
Gomez will try to make the New Jersey team that is loaded (for lack of a better term) with forwards. Gomez will try to beat out one (or two) of 14 other players that all have 1-way contracts. If Ryan Carter does decide to remain a Devil, that number will become 15 and nearly impossible to overcome.
Gomez would probably be a grinder if he made the team and scoring goals was never really his forte. 2005-06 was the only season where he broke 20 goals and he scored 33. He also scored 5 goals in the playoffs that year. Gomez has only scored 57 goals since he left the Devils in the summer of 2007.
Scott Gomez would, in all likelihood, have to beat out Jacob Josefson, Steve Bernier, Stephen Gionta and/or Carter if Carter decides to sign. While Josefson isn’t here in a grinder role, he is arguably the lowest on the depth chart and would be the first to go. In theory, Gomez could fill Carter’s spot, but that isn’t an ideal situation considering Carter can contribute with goals.
When trying to figure out lines, it’s already too tough to figure out. Throw Gomez or Carter into the mix, it becomes impossible. The Devils continue to “look” to move someone, but rookies and minor players report in 13 days. How much longer is Lou going to wait to accept a deal. That’s also assuming he even has a deal in place.
The harsh reality is Gomez is so far over the hill that he has only contributed 40 points in the past 3 seasons. Only 6 of them have been goals. The Devils are squeezing in too many players at forward already and the chances of Gomez making the team are slim-to-none.
Like him or not for what he has done for and to the team in the past, there is no room for Scott Gomez on the 2014-15 New Jersey Devils roster.