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Panthers sign Gomez to one-year contract

Wednesday, 07.31.2013 / 1:00 PM / NHL Free Agency 2013

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Panthers sign Gomez to one-year contract
The Panthers have signed veteran center Scott Gomez to a one-year contract.

Scott Gomez is returning to the Eastern Conference, with the Florida Panthers announcing Wednesday they've signed the 33-year-old to a one-year contract reportedly worth $900,000.

"Scott is a veteran center who adds further depth to the middle of our lineup," general manager Dale Tallon said. "He is a quick and skilled forward with a wealth of hockey experience, including two Stanley Cup titles, who will be a leader for our younger players."

Gomez had at least 55 points in seven consecutive seasons from 2002-10, but has seen his production slip since then.

He was bought out by the Montreal Canadiens prior to last season and signed with the San Jose Sharks, where he had two goals and 15 points in 39 regular-season games. He had two assists in nine Stanley Cup Playoff games.

A first-round pick of the New Jersey Devils (No. 27) in the 1998 NHL Draft, Gomez won the Calder Trophy in 2000 after totaling 19 goals and 70 points in 82 games. He capped his rookie season by helping the Devils win their second of three Stanley Cups.

Gomez posted career highs of 33 goals and 84 points with the Devils during the 2005-06 season.

In 941 regular-season games with the Devils, New York Rangers, Canadiens and Sharks, the native of Anchorage, Alaska has 171 goals and 701 points. He has 29 goals and 101 points in 149 postseason games.

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You don't see many. The [Drew] Doughtys, the [P.K.] Subbans, those are guys that create offense from the back and then on top of that ability, the size that he has. In the West you play against some pretty big players, and being able to clear the crease and contain the [Ryan] Getzlafs and the [Corey] Perrys and [Anze] Kopitars and players like that, we're excited about him going back there.

— Sharks general manager Doug Wilson on Brent Burns returning back to defense