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Stall Mates: Scott Gomez Part II

A rookie Scott Gomez turned to his left and was asked to tell Mr. Devil how he needs to improve

by Amanda Stein amandacstein /

As our conversations carried on, it became increasingly clear that any time Gomez was to walk in and out of the locker room, he had something cooking. Talking in the third person, as he shared in Part One, is just part of what made Gomez such a unique locker room stall mate.

And perhaps that's why this two-part edition of Stall Mates presented by Sense Arena, has turned into stories about how he was as a member of the Devils locker room and less about the quirks of guys around him.

Gomez always kept it interesting.

Especially walking into a room where his teammates were already getting ready, deep in their own routines. Gomez said his goal was to do what he could to try and get his teammates to mess up their routines. 

"I'd come in there and do this," he said putting his hands together in prayer. 

"I think everyone basically when you walked in, you're doing something. My thing was I'd walk in and I'd look at the name [on the back of my jersey]. And if someone was there, then I'd do a quick prayer to the name Gomez." 

Gomez would sign the Holy Trinity and take a bow in front of his own jersey. 

"I just I don't normally just go in and go like this. Especially when the guys were watching, I'd put Gomez around, and then I just sit there and guys were looking at me, and then I just and then guys, would be like 'what are you doing?' I'm like, 'I'm praying to the Holy Gomez today. We need him. We need him to have a good day.'"

Then there was that one time, where at 19-years-old, Gomez found himself sitting next to Ken Daneyko. Dano wasn't his regular stall mate and while I'm sure it would be cool to have the opportunity to sit next to Mr. Devil in the locker room. It probably came, for Gomez, at the most inopportune time, as he recalls.

Gomez remembers the team going through a tough stretch during his rookie season and a shakeup came to the locker room. One side of the locker room was asked to come to sit on the other side. Every player on one side of the room lined up next to one another. 

"Dano sits right next to me,' Gomez recalls of players making their way to the side of the room where he sat close to Jay Pandolfo.

"Everyone had to, to the person next to you, you had to complain about them and tell them how they can improve and what they're doing wrong," he recalled with a chuckle. "And I get stuck with Dano. I'm a rookie and I'm like 'are you kidding me? I gotta say something to him?!'

"I'm 19 and I'm talking to like, the King. I'm sitting there and go like 'Yeah, Dano we need to have you more upbeat because it makes the room…I didn't know what to say! Like, of all the people I have to sit next to Dano and tell him what he needs to improve?! That was a good one."

That memory served clear to Scott Gomez. How could it not? Being asked to criticize Ken Daneyko would stick out in anyone's memory. As to who was sitting next to Scott? That's a little less clear, but the criticism wasn't.

"I just remember I totally got ripped."

The room, Gomez recalled had a great dynamic, filled with different characters that you could get away with things like talking to yourself in the third person, praying to your own name on the jersey, and telling one of the greatest members of the franchise how to improve his game. A lot went on, but one fundamental remained between all of them.

"The thing about it was, no one cared what you did as long as you brought it on the ice. That's all that mattered. Practice and everything. No one judged anyone. It was what you were doing on the ice and that's the sign of good teams."

I'd say, it worked out for everyone in the end. 

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