St. Louis Blues Sign Scott Gomez to One-Year, Two-Way Contract

After an awkward few days during which he was in “contract purgatory”–done with his preseason tryout arrangement, but not yet signed to an official deal–veteran center Scott Gomez was able to finalize things with the St. Louis Blues on Wednesday, signing a one-year, two-way contract. Gomez will be paid $575,000 in the NHL (a highly affordable salary that is less than the salaries comparable players like Ty Rattie, Magnus Paajarvi, and Jordan Caron would be making in the NHL), while he would be paid $200,000 in the AHL. The contract, like the one that fellow veteran Scottie Upshall signed with the Blues on Monday, gives the team the flexibility to affordably put Gomez through waivers and assign him to the AHL later this season if he’s the player they decide to subtract when injured forward Patrik Berglund ultimately returns to the ice in December or January.

Gomez is unlikely to be used much, if at all, during the early part of the season. He’s the club’s 14th forward, and he wouldn’t really fit on the fourth line if the Blues wanted to give a player like Steve Ott or Ryan Reaves a night off. His most frequent role–a rather minimal one that Joakim Lindstrom, and later on Olli Jokinen, played last season–will likely be replacing players on one of the top three scoring lines for a single game or a few games at a time, if they deal with injuries. As general manager Doug Armstrong alluded to several days ago, Gomez was going to have to be OK with his role and the economics of the deal–very minimal playing time with a “for the love of the game” veteran salary–so the Blues obviously felt that Gomez was willing to put his pride aside a bit and do whatever it took to contribute to the team.

Gomez joins Troy Brouwer as Blues players who have previously been Stanley Cup champions, as he was part of the 2000 and 2003 New Jersey Devils teams that hoisted the Cup. That’s a steep upgrade over last year’s Blues team, which lacked a single player who had previously been part of a Stanley Cup championship team.

Another interesting factoid: Gomez will be the second number 93 in Blues history, following Petr Nedved, who was with the Blues in 1994. Gomez appears to have an interest in wearing as many different jersey numbers as he can before the end of his career, as he’s worn numbers 11, 19, 21, 23 (on three different occasions), 91, and now 93 through seven different stops.