The Islanders have acquired Scott Gomez, and it didn’t even cost them Ryan McDonagh or $51 million over seven years.
Of course, this version of Scott Gomez isn’t a current player anymore, but a recently-retired one who is now an assistant coach on Doug Weight’s staff. Arthur Staple of Newsday had tipped us off that Gomez could be joining the crew at some point and, lo and behold, here he is.
From the team’s official release:
"Scott brings an immense amount of hockey knowledge to our coaching staff," Head Coach Doug Weight said. "His offensive instincts, expertise on the power-play and the way he could control the game with his skating and smarts, are all key elements that we want implemented into our group. He played in the league as recently as the 2015-16 season so he can relate to today's NHL player in an effort to bring out the best in each member of the team."
(Whoa. Gomez was a Florida Panther for a season? Geez, I must have slept through that year.)
Gomez was a first round pick of the Devils and won and a Calder Trophy and Stanley Cup with them in 2000. He’d add another Cup with New Jersey in 2003 before signing a hilariously exorbitant deal with the Rangers in 2007. Few players in the league would have justified getting over $7 million a year, and Gomez was eventually shipped off to Montreal in a spectacular ass-saving move that netted Glen Sather McDonagh, the Rangers’ current All Star captain.
Although his scoring totals dried up in his many later stops (including going more than a year without scoring a goal, a slump that was broken against... you guessed it, the Islanders), Gomez has seen a lot in his time and could give the Islanders some fresh, contemporary instructions on a number of topics.
A few weeks ago, Weight added former Binghamton Senators coach Luke Richardson to his staff and it’s believed Edmonton’s Kelly Buchberger might follow.
If/when #Isles add Kelly Buchberger to staff, will have four coaches with over 1,000 NHL games played. Can't imagine that's happened before.— Arthur Staple (@StapeNewsday) May 30, 2017
Naming a new assistant coach or two probably isn’t a bad idea, but it also shouldn’t deter the Islanders from adding anyone else as a consultant as well. Like say, a former NHL defenseman and Hall of Famer. Perhaps even one that once coached Scott Gomez to a Stanley Cup...