Who the hell would want Scott Gomez?

The Monday after a weekend of binge drafting is the worst, especially if your name is Dale Tallon. Seeing the monstrosity of a team that lied before him and what he had to spend to reach the salary cap floor of $48 million, we’ve heard that Tallon had several rounds of Flaming Moe‘s Thursday night before stumbling back to his hotel room smelling of children’s cough syrup.

After sleepwalking through the entire weekend, he woke up this morning with a dry mouth, foggy memory, and Brian Campbell. In his stupor he was miraculously a partner in an event we all assumed was impossible. The untradeable contract was traded, and Tallon inched just a little closer to that cap floor. Keep up the good work, Dale, only $26 million more to go.

Baseball fans in Toronto know the joy of watching an albatross fly west, so when Campbell’s $7.2 million cap hit per year headed in a southerly direction, hope was restored for other hockey outposts harbouring immovable anchors. Sure, Campbell has fine offensive talent, and fills the role of that proverbial puck-moving defenceman with ease. But that’s a steep, potentially crushing price to pay for a once elite offensive defenceman with 65 points over his last two seasons, and 31 games missed due to injury.

Thankfully, the rising cap floor has made the impossible possible. Now there’s hope for other teams that desperately want to cast those salary anchors overboard, hope that will continue to exist as long as the Dale Tallons of the NHL keep managing teams with the frugality of a mother of six at No Frills.

But let’s be real here. Nobody actually wants Scott Gomez, right?

With Campbell’s eight-year, $57 million contract moving from Chi Town to the place where hockey is behind basketball, college football, women in bikinis, and the Ninja Professional Blender infomercial, Gomez’s deal in Montreal now ascends to its rightful place as the league’s most obscene contract.

At the height of The Great Smurf Revolution in Hab-land during the summer of 2009, then Habs GM Bob Gainey acquired Gomez and his seven-year, $51.5 million contract in a trade with the New York Rangers. He did this despite Gomez posting 58 points during the previous season, which at the time was the second lowest single-season output of his career (Gomez shattered that mark this season with his seven goals and 38 points over 80 games).

Gomez’s first season in Montreal was respectable by his career standards. The 31-year-old has averaged 61.3 points per season over his 11-year career, and he finished with 59 in 2009-10. Fast forward one year, and Gomez is now earning $210,525.32 per point, and $1,142,857.14 per goal. In monetary hockey terms, Gomez has the value of a Masserati, but the engine of a Pinto.

The stench of Gomez’s contract hovers around Pierre Gauthier’s office, but it’s difficult to envision any team wanting to take on a drastically under-producing forward at a cap hit of roughly $7.4 million. Complicating matters slightly is Gomez’s minor no-trade clause in which he can list three teams he won’t accept.

So if we disregard the obvious fit in Florida as Tallon continues to reach for the cap floor, is there a possible suitor for Gomez’s dead weight? Pat Hickey of the Montreal Gazette says the answer lies in the salary cap arithmetic, and points to Colorado as a possible destination, a team with a current payroll of $29.5 million and few marquee free agents to retain. The Avalanche are ahead of only the Panthers in terms of overall payroll.

Hickey also gives a nod to the Coyotes, a perpetually cash-strapped franchise with a $32.7 million payroll, and Ed Jovanovski’s $6.5 million cap hit coming off the books. However, restricted free agent Keith Yandle is due for a sizable raise after the expiration of his rookie contract, and a large void was left in the crease after the departure of Ilya Bryzgalov. Throw in Michal Rozsival, Lee Stempniak, Ray Whitney, and Shane Doan hitting the UFA market next summer, and an underachieving forward who had his best season five years is especially unappealing in Phoenix.

Gauthier may be wise to wait one year before making his Gomez push. As Eyes On The Prize noted last week, Gomez’s cap hit remains the same in the final two years of his contract, but the overall yearly value goes from $7.5 million to $5.5, making the acquisition of a skilled if fading forward with some upside more attractive. Due to the uncertainty of the constantly rising cap, teams often give a players’ actual salary greater consideration than the cap hit.

For now though that anchor otherwise known as Scott Gomez will remain firmly fastened to Gauthier’s bow as he sails the rough Montreal waters.

Comments (10)

  1. Habs will hang on to Gomez for at least a year, partially to see how he does, and hopefully his value will increase.

    It’s worth noting how he did while Pacioretty was in the lineup. During those 37 games, Max Pac had 24 points, and Habs fans everywhere talked about how awesome he was. That’s on pace for 53 points, a respectable total for any player in the NHL.

    Also during those 37 games, Scott Gomez had…24 points. In his other 45 games, he had 14. So something is slightly off there, and it seems likely that Max Pac was just the perfect linemate for Gomez and Gionta – what other explanation could there be?

    One other stat that shows up in there is goals and assists. Gionta and Max Pac combined for 29 goals in those 37 games, while Gomez had 21 assists. Seems likely that Gomez was the one passing, considering Gionta had but 3 assists, Max Pac 10.
    Those 21 assists would put him on pace for 46, which would be top 20 in the NHL – top 10 among centers.

    Considering Gomez’s value after that season is terrible, that the Habs would get nothing for him…combined with not really having a replacement…and there’s just no reason to move him now. Give him a chance next season, if he doesn’t perform, he can be relieved of his duties one way or another (AHL or trade).
    But if he does perform, the Habs have the making of a contender.

  2. I dont understand how the rangers can just put redden in the minors and why rich habs frenchise doesnt do the same and sign like 4 d an a forward or 2?

    Nothing is required in a trade, in fact mont might as well throw in 1 mill/year on top to dump the deal and get anyone from richards to making to up the anti on maccarthur etc. Tallon is no fool and in fact gettign campbell and gomez helps him suck enough to get good picks for a few years and run the panthers on the cheap before they move because they will still go broke trying to get to the floor, still suck and sell tickets…. winnipeg might as well have 2 teams and it is likely panthers will be in Seattle QC or hamilton when all is said and done.

    Sorry dude he will not perform unless he takes a big pay cut to get 2 wingers to make him look good and is in fact the exact reason habs are not contenders at all…. good but not contenders… especially when the wis kid goes to det and markov is out for the year again when he fractures his labia in game 3

  3. [...] other general managers certainly hope that Tallon takes option one and not option two.Who the hell would want Scott Gomez? Try Dale Tallon! Wade Redden, why not! Jeff Finger? Sure! Shawn Horcoff, Chris Drury and Sheldon [...]

  4. Kevin hit the nail on the head, the Habs need Gomez for at least one more year and his value is probably lower than it’s ever been, so there’s no reason to deal him.

    The time period when the Habs had Pacioretty with the big club is encouraging, as is the positive zone-shift differential and positive Corsi (even when you consider the 54.0 Ozone%). The Habs suffered from bad shooting luck this season and Gomez was a particular victim of that as his on-ice shooting percentage was 4.73% at even-strength.

    Unless they do something crazy like sign Richards, the Habs have plenty of cap room to get some much-needed forward depth. Next year is the earliest they could possibly face a cap-crunch and Gomez’ salary goes down a fair bit. Best to keep him now, have him bounce back as the on-ice shooting percentage regresses toward the mean, and get more forward depth so the likes of Darche, Halpern, and Moen don’t find themselves in the top-6 on Plekanec’ or Gomez’ wing next season.

  5. Did I read MTL need Scott Gomez??? on what freakin planet did I wake up this morning??

    We need Gomez as much as the Bruins need a big gritty, rough and tough d-man!!! come on. Gomez has been and will always be dead weight.

    We should get rid of Gomez ASAp for nothing in return and that still would be considered a good trade.

    I’d rather see D. Desharnais or Eller working there ass off then seing bambi Gomez skating in the neutral zone.

    I read that Max Pac and Gionta mad him better??? WTF is that, what about giving them someone to make THEM better…

    A contender with Gomez as a 2nd line center….LMAOF come on!!!

  6. Eller isn’t ready to handle top-6 minutes in both directions… he dominated 4th-line opposition early on and outplayed 3rd-line guys by the end of the season but he’s not quite ready for top-6 yet.

    Desharnais is even further away from being a capable top-6 centre than Eller. Yes, Desrharnais was very impressive with the Habs but it was almost exclusively against other team’s 4th-liners. Out-playing Gregory Campbell, Daniel Paille and Shawn Thornton is a heck of a lot easier than outplaying David Krejci or Patrice Bergeron and company.

  7. i always thought gomez was awful ive been i habs since 78 i was five years old then but i was smart

  8. Gomez would certainly be the winger on the all overpaid squad ,this guy is done

  9. To Roke :

    Eller and DD might not be ready, but you prefer seing Mr Gomez there? his he ready? he had one of the worst +- rating in the series agaisnt the Bruins and you still think he deserve better minute then DD or Eller. I say give the kids a chance, they cant do worst then Gomez.

    Even though his production was drowning, even though he was a paper doll on the boards even though he finished so many game with -2 and more, you still think he should be a 2nd line center???

    Like I said, on what freekin planet did I wake up to?

  10. [...] reassemble the pieces of those great Devils teams from a decade ago.Hey Doug, we hear Scott Gomez could be available. No Comments Previous post Pyeongchang to host 2018 Winter Olympics, but will NHL players be [...]

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *