Yesterday, we passed along news that 13-year NHL veteran Paul Mara had signed on to play in the East Coast Hockey League.
Now it appears Mara will have some company.
Montreal’s Scott Gomez — a 12-year NHL vet — has signed a professional tryout agreement with the ECHL’s Alaska Aces.
Just to be clear, this isn’t one of those “OMG, look at how fall Gomez has fallen” stories like you see in the Montreal Gazette every other week.
Gomez is joining the Aces along with fellow Anchorage natives Joey Crabb and Nate Thompson. All three are currently under contract with NHL clubs, but are doing their bit to promote hockey in Alaska.
It’s something Gomez has experience with.
During the 2004-05 work stoppage, he joined the Aces for 61 games and tore up the league, notching 86 points en route to winning MVP honors. The season wasn’t all positive, though — Gomez broke his pelvis on a hit during the playoffs, a pretty big deal given he was a restricted free agent.
Here’s more on the incident, from CBC (and yes, that’s ex-Blues head coach Davis Payne):
Bakersfield Condors forward Ashlee Langdone blind-sided Gomez into the open gate. Langdone received a five-minute boarding penalty on the play.
“I have no respect for him [Langdone],” Gomez told the Anchorage Daily News.
Aces coach Davis Payne also fumed over what he felt was an unfair hit.
“It’s one thing to play that type of hockey, to finish your checks, to check hard, punch, slash and facewash people from behind,” Payne told the Daily News. “But it’s another thing to take a premium superstar who did everyone in the game of hockey a favour by coming here and hit him like that.
“It’s absolutely disgraceful.”
In searching Aces website, I learned one of the team owners is named Rod Udd. That’s not even a name. That’s a sound.