May 17, 2013, 4:28 PM EDT
When the Sharks signed Scott Gomez, they figured they were getting depth up front.
What they probably didn’t expect was additional depth in the coaching department — but they got that, too.
“Gomer has been a very good player for us in a number of different ways,” Sharks head coach Todd McLellan told CSN Bay Area. “I don’t want to say it’s surprising, but he’s almost like a third or a fourth coach.”
For all the jokes made at his deteriorating game over the last few seasons, Gomez still brings something to the table.
The two-time Stanley Cup winner played in his 144th career playoff game on Thursday against Los Angeles — notching a pair of assists, his 100th and 101st postseason points — and has been a steadying influence since drawing in for the final two games of the Vancouver series.
All things considered, this has been a good year for Gomez.
He escaped the stigma of his unwieldy contract and proved he could be an effective performer on a playoff squad, finishing fifth on the Sharks in assists (13) during the regular season.
He’s also embraced the veteran leadership role and impressed his coach at the same time.
“He’s trying to do things the right way,” McLellan explained. “He’s trying to get guys to keep their shifts short, that we have a high guy, that we don’t turn pucks over.
“I didn’t know we were getting that in Scott Gomez, but we’re getting it, and he’s been a big influence that way.”
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