Dale Tallon said the Panthers were not done adding to their team this offseason and he proved it today with the signing of veteran center Scott Gomez to a one year deal. The financial terms of the deal were not immediately available.
The 33 year old Gomez was one of the first players to be bought out following the lockout. After the Montreal Canadiens unloaded his unwieldy contract before the start of the 2013 season, Gomez signed with the San Jose Sharks where he recorded 2 goals and 13 assists in 39 regular season games. Dale Tallon had the following to say about the signing, “Scott is a veteran center who adds further depth to the middle of our line-up. He is a quick and skilled forward, with a wealth of hockey experience including two Stanley Cup titles, who will be a leader for our younger players.”
With 941 career NHL games played, Gomez will certainly provide a veteran presence for the young Panthers. How much he produces and in turn how much he plays remains to be seen. Gomez, who was once a premier player, has not scored more than fifty points since the 2009-10 season.
The Panthers decision to sign Gomez comes as a bit of a surprise given the teams current options at center. With Sasha Barkov, Nick Bjugstad, Marcel Goc, Shawn Matthias and Drew Shore all already in the mix for four center spots, it appears that Gomez may have a hard time cracking the lineup. The addition of Gomez could mean less playing time for some of the younger centers on the Panthers’ roster or it could mean someone could be on the move.
Scott Gomez could be a good addition to the team even if he rarely sees the ice. His presence in the locker room and around the Panthers’ young centers will be invaluable and if someone ahead of him on the depth chart goes down, the Panthers will have a more than capable player ready to go.