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Should Montreal banish Scott Gomez to the minors?

Nov 16, 2011, 11:25 PM EDT

Scott Gomez Braden Holtby Scott Hannan AP

Sure, the New York Rangers traded Scott Gomez, but he might still be a kindred spirit with Wade Redden. A TSN panel discussed a mind-blowing possibility: should the Montreal Canadiens pay Gomez $7.4 million to not play for their team?

While Aaron Ward and Marc Crawford called for a buyout, Bob McKenzie recommended giving Gomez the Redden treatment.

In an ideal world (for the Habs, at least), Montreal would be able to unload Gomez’s laughable deal on another team, much like the Chicago Blackhawks did with Brian Campbell. Most NHL teams probably find it hard to believe that Gomez will deliver like Campbell has so far in Florida though, so it’s reasonable that the TSN crew emphasized two options in which the Habs would eat part of Gomez’s salary.

Assuming a trade indeed cannot happen, it breaks down to three options, then:

1. Buy him out: On the bright side, Montreal would save some money and cut ties with Gomez altogether. The minus is that the Habs wouldn’t get total cap relief and the impact would cover four seasons.

2. Demote him: The perks are two-fold: Gomez would be gone to the AHL and the cap hit would evaporate. That being said, the Habs would need to pay Gomez his full salary to play in the minors.

3. Keep him: Naturally, the Habs could hope that Gomez will find a way to get his career back on track, as unlikely as that might seem to some.

Since it’s not my money, I’d go with option number two – at least if another team decides to go in rebuild mode and unload a pricey star (Jarome Iginla, maybe?). What would you do with the struggling Alaskan scorer, though?

  1. nhlbruins90 - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:08 AM

    Gomez is the epitome of the rich, content, country club NHL player. All the perks, none of the tiresome effort.

    Put him on the bus, send him off to Worcester, Albany, Hamilton or who cares where.

  2. mikebel11 - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:42 AM

    It’s not worth it to have a player so uncaring on your minor league team. Gomez spends 90% of the game gliding in the wrong direction and the other 10% making horrible decisions. It would only cost the team $6.66667M to buy him out whereas keeping him in the minors would still run them another $10M over the next two years. 3.5, 4.5, 1.7 and 1.7 cap hits over the next four years are a small price to pay to get rid of him.

  3. stakex - Nov 17, 2011 at 12:59 AM

    As a Rangers fan, let me just say…. Ha Ha!

    Sorry, had to do it… and Montreal deserves it for making such an idiotic move in the first place. I couldn’t believe it when Sather gave this monstrosity of a contract to Gomez a few years back, and when he drastically under performed in NY I couldn’t believe another team was idiotic enough to actually take him. Sad thing is, aside from his REALLY bad start this year… Gomez isn’t really a bad player. Its just that he never had a chance in hell of playing to the expectations that came with his joke of a contract. Had he been making $3-4 million a year all would be well.

    As for what Montreal will do with Gomez this year, I would bet nothing… at least for now. Odds are they will hope he starts putting a few points on the board. If he does, expect him to stay in the NHL, especially if it looks like Montreal is going to be in the playoff hunt. If he continues to play like he is…. its anyones guess what the Canadians will do with him. They might dump him in the minors, but I don’t know if they are a team willing to spend that kind of money on an AHL player. A trade is also possible at that point, but it was a miricle when the Rangers were able to move him with this contract, so does anyone honestly think there is another team willing to make the same idiotic move? I sure don’t.

    The one thing they won’t do is buy him out. A buyout of Gomez will create far too much dead cap space.

  4. danphipps01 - Nov 17, 2011 at 3:56 AM

    Would one of the low-cost teams grab him out of the minors and make Montreal eat 3.7, though? It’s possible. I don’t think he’s even worth that, but there are teams with so much money they can afford to not give a flying fuck and take the chance anyway. The buyout would run them more for longer, though, so does that even make a difference? If someone grabbed him, they’d pay 3.7 per year for two. If they bought him out, it would be a little under that this year, 4.5 next, and 1.67 for two more. And hey, supposing no-one grabs him, then there’s no cap hit at all. All told, demotion makes way more sense – in the worst-case scenario they’re paying a little more in a shorter span of time. And you never know, he might throw a tantrum and refuse to report. That’d go a long way to helping them clear it. XD

  5. govtminion - Nov 17, 2011 at 10:27 AM

    I’m going to be honest, I live in Capitals country (Bruins fan in a foreign land), so I don’t see much of Montreal except a few times a year and of course the highlight reel. Habs fans, be honest with me here, because I honestly want to know- does this feel like a guy who’s just slacking off and getting a paycheck like Alex Semin? Or is this a guy who is just struggling despite his best efforts and just not getting anywhere?

    I don’t see enough of him to know- I know he had some killer years with the Devils, so the talent is there, but he hasn’t shown it in a very long time. So I’m honestly curious if he’s just not caring, or just not at that level anymore.

    • stakex - Nov 17, 2011 at 11:37 AM

      Well I haven’t seen Gomez play much in the last couple years… but I did watch him a lot with the Devils and Rangers. I wouldn’t really compare him with Semin back then. Semin has a ton more talent then Gomez does…. and is clearly just a lazy player who doesn’t seem to care about much of anything.

      Gomez on the other hand pretty much played to his talent for most of his career as a 20 goal/40-60 point a year player. Thats who Gomez is, and aside from one 80 point year there was never a sign he had the talent to be an elite player. The thing is, after Sather gave him a $7.5 million contract, the expectations for Gomez skyrocketed, even though there should have been no reason to expect a dramtic increase in Gomez’s production. Gomez simply never was “at that level”. So once Gomez continued at his 40-60 point a year pace with his new contract…. everyone suddenly looked at him as though he was under perfoming, when in reality he was simply playing to his talent level.

      So the difference between Gomez and Semin is that Semin IS under performing given his raw talent… as where Gomez is only under performing due to his joke of a contract. See the difference?

  6. smithmike4 - Nov 17, 2011 at 7:13 PM

    Yes, as a devils fan and a former huge fan of Scott gomez the only time he played good was with NJ and ever since he got traded I hoped he did bad and he has done exactly that :)

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