With the first month of free agency behind us, the Panthers have been quietly active re-signing RFAs Shawn Matthias, Jacob Markstrom, Scott Timmins, and Colby Robak, as well as adding UFAs Joey Crabb and Jesse Winchester to their depth chart. In addition to these signings, the Florida Panthers announced Wednesday afternoon that they inked long-time NHL center-man, Scott Gomez.
Scott Gomez is best known for his seven years with the New Jersey Devils where he appeared in 548 games, tallying an impressive 450 points with the club, winning the Calder Trophy his rookie year, as well as two Stanley cups. Aside from his stellar years in New Jersey, the Anchorage Alaskan native also made his mark in the two seasons he spent on Broadway with the New York Rangers before being traded to the Montreal Canadians. The Canadians only saw one solid year from Gomez before his numbers dipped dramatically over the next two seasons, which resulted in the Habs buying him out of the remaining two years he had left on his $51.5 million contract. The following season, the UFA signed a one year deal worth $700,000 with the San Jose Sharks. In 39 games with the west coast franchise, Gomez tallied a respectable 15 points.
In adding Scott Gomez, the Panthers are getting an established veteran of high-class to guide one of the NHL’s youngest teams. While Gomez may have lost a bit of a step the past couple of seasons, he brings experience and leadership as he has been apart of the NHL since 1999 and worn an “A” on his jersey during his stints with both the New York Rangers and Montreal Canadians.
With drafting youngster Aleksander Barkov in this years NHL draft, as well as resigning Shawn Matthias, the Panthers will have a lot of competition up the middle. Barkov, Shore, Goc, Matthias, and Gomez will have a lot to prove during this seasons training camp which will begin September 11th.
Gomez signs a 1-year deal with the Panthers.