During the 2004-2005 NHL lockout, Scott Gomez elected to play for his hometown Anchorage Alaska Aces. He went on to win the ECHL scoring championship and was voted MVP by the league’s coaches. The following season he had his career NHL year.
Seven years later and we’re full circle. The NHL is again in lockout mode and Gomez is back in Anchorage…..and scoring.
Will history repeat? That, my friends, is the 7.3 million dollar question?
After just three games, it certainly looks promising. Gomez, even without the timing that comes from regular game conditions, is producing right out of the gate.
Friday night, Alaska won it’s sixth straight game and third in a row with Gomez in the lineup. Gomez had a hand in three goals, a goal and two assists, as the Aces edged the Colorado Eagles 4-3 before a sellout crowd in Anchorage. In his three games he has two goals and three assists which is the kind of pace he set seven years ago with the Aces.
If anyone is in need of a confidence re-build it’s Gomez. Last season was a train wreck. Four different stints on the injury lists capped by that season ending concussion. In 38 games he famously had only those two goals and eleven points. His year-long goal scoring drought became fodder for comedians.
The last time he played for Alaska, Gomez scored 13 goals and 73 assists in 61 games. Fueled by that success, Gomez rejoined the Devils the following season scoring 33 goals and 51 assists. Unfortunately he hasn’t come close to those totals again which has coaches and fans alike scratching their heads.
So here we are. For a player with Gomez speed and skill, the ECHL is a cakewalk. Just what the doctor ordered if you’re trying to regain shattered self-confidence.
Whenever the NHL becomes functional again there will be a very short training camp. Conventional wisdom is telling us that Gomez has to be outstanding right out of box or the Canadiens are going to make a move to remove him and his salary cap hit from their roster.
Gomez and the Aces now hit the road for six games over the next two weeks starting Wednesday against the Boise Idaho Steelheads. Then Salt Lake City Utah for two games and on to California for games at Stockton, Bakersfield and Ontario.
Scott Gomez Career Statistics
|1996-97||South Surrey Eagles||BCHL||Statistics Unavailable|
|1999-00||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||19||51||70||78||14||23||4||6||10||4|
|2000-01||New Jersey Devils||NHL||76||14||49||63||46||-1||25||5||9||14||24|
|2001-02||New Jersey Devils||NHL||76||10||38||48||36||-4||—||—||—||—||—|
|2002-03||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||13||42||55||48||17||24||3||9||12||2|
|2003-04||New Jersey Devils||NHL||80||14||56||70||70||18||5||0||6||6||0|
|2005-06||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||33||51||84||42||8||9||5||4||9||6|
|2006-07||New Jersey Devils||NHL||72||13||47||60||42||7||11||4||10||14||14|
|2007-08||New York Rangers||NHL||81||16||54||70||36||3||10||4||7||11||8|
|2008-09||New York Rangers||NHL||77||16||42||58||60||-2||7||2||3||5||4|