“This has been my life. It’s so weird to think I’m never going to play hockey again. But I’m done. I’m done.”
Gomez had spent the last few seasons as a role player and spent time with the Blues and Senators last year, where he collected a goal and eight assists in 34 games between the two teams.
He spent the bulk of his career with the New Jersey Devils, becoming one of the better playmakers in the NHL at that time while winning a pair of Stanley Cup titles in 2000 and 2003. When he became an unrestricted free agent back in 2007, he surprised many by joining a cross-state rival in the New York Rangers, signing a seven year, $51.5MM deal.
Gomez only wound up spending two years with the Rangers before being dealt to Montreal for a package highlighted by Ryan McDonagh. After a strong first year with the Canadiens in 2009-10, he struggled considerably over the next two seasons, picking up just nine goals and 40 helpers in 138 games. The team bought him out for the 2012-13 season after the NHL granted them permission to use a compliance buyout a year early; their original intention for that season was to send him home to sit out in order to avoid injury.
For his career, Gomez finishes with 181 goals and 575 assists in 1,079 total games while earning nearly $64MM in salary, the bulk of which came from his free agent deal with New York. That makes him the highest scoring Alaskan-born player in NHL history; he sits just shy of 400 points ahead of Brandon Dubinsky so it’s safe to say he’ll hold that mark for several more years at least.
As for what’s next for Gomez, Woody notes that he has a broadcasting job lined up after dipping his toes into the TV waters during the most recent Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images.