Scott Gomez’s time in the AHL with the Hershey Bears is over for now as he asked to be released from the PTO he signed in January.
In 18 games with the Bears, the 36-year-old Gomez scored four times and racked up 20 assists, helping them to the top spot in the Atlantic Division. Despite the limited time with the team, he leaves as the team’s 11th-leading point-getter and fourth in assists.
“This was a mutual decision agreed upon between Scott and the Hershey Bears,” Bears president and GM Doug Yingst said. “He could not have been a more motivational and encouraging leader to our younger players, and a mentor for our veteran players. Scott knows that the door is always open in Hershey for him.”
Gomez began the 2015-16 hockey season on a PTO with the St. Louis Blues, which he parlayed into a one-year contract. His presence helped the NHL side as they needed forward depth due to injuries. But after 21 games, he was released and later inked a tryout deal with Hershey. He pondered retiring, but Adam Oates, who has done skills consulting work with a number of NHL players, talked him out of it.
“I don’t want to say [Oates] convinced me,” Gomez said in a January New York Times story. “But he said: ‘Hey, you’re still good. You’ve still got it.’ And all the older players I talked to said: ‘Gomer, don’t. You’re going to regret it.'"
It’s unknown what Gomez’s future plans are, whether he’s taking a break and intends to return to the Bears or perhaps retirement is in the cards this time. He’ll be 37 in December, but played well in the AHL. Could some NHL team take a chance on him again?
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