Hockey Correspondent, White Cover Magazine
It’s official: NHL teams will be allowed to buy out one player before the regular season begins on Saturday.
Right off the bat, that means Montreal’s Scott Gomez and New York’s Wade Redden, both of whom are worth approximately seven million less than the (average) seven million they’re being paid annually. The Score does a great job of summing up the great job done by Elliotte Friedman and Bob McKenzie. Check that out for details, but the news remains the same: Scott Gomez and Wade Redden will be bought out in the next few days.
That means both players would be available for any other NHL team to grab… cue the bidding war?
I’ve never been a big Redden guy. He never struck me the right way and his rumoured drug abuse is slightly tragic but it still doesn’t make me feel bad enough to vouch for him. Unlike Gomez, Redden has essentially done nothing lately. At least Scott played last year. Redden’s pretty much already a real estate agent, although that’s never stopped the Ottawa Senators.
While I can’t see Redden making any club in the next few days — or even getting a shot — Gomez is a different beast. His recent on-ice problems have nothing to do with off-ice problems. Gomez has always been a streaky player, and it was Montreal’s own fault they signed him to a contract worth way too much money over way too long.
Gomez can still play, pretty much. He’s an excellent skater with tremendous in-zone puck control. He can dish the puck out and — if you can get him for about $500,000, which you definitely should be able to — he’ll make everybody on your team better.
Vancouver, are you out there?
Gomez is a perfect match for the Canucks. I’ll stake my reputation on it which, thankfully for me, doesn’t mean much. Scotty played his junior hockey in White Rock, B.C. with the Surrey Eagles. His jersey is still hanging in the rafters. He’s from Anchorage and he’s a West Coaster at heart.
The former Calder Trophy winner has a lot of hockey left in him. He just needs a shot.
Vancouver, can you hear me?
*And, just for fun, here’s a video of someone who went from being poor to being very famous and successful. It’s the opposite or Mr. Gomez and Mr. Redden…
(screenshot courtesy of TeamCoCo’s YouTube channel)