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Blues invite Gomez, four others to training camp

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Veteran center Scott Gomez was one of five players the St. Louis Blues on Thursday invited to training camp on professional tryout contracts.

Gomez, 35, had seven goals and 34 points in 58 games with the New Jersey Devils. He was tied for third on the Devils in points and his 27 assists tied Adam Henrique for the lead.

It was the best output for Gomez since he had seven goals and 38 points for the Montreal Canadiens during the 2010-11 season.

Gomez was the 27th pick of the 1998 NHL Draft by the Devils and won the Calder Trophy in 1999-00. He won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2000 and 2003, and played seven seasons in New Jersey with St. Louis assistant general manager Martin Brodeur.

In 1,045 games with the Devils, New York Rangers, Canadiens, San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers, Gomez has 180 goals and 747 points. He has 29 goals and 101 points in 149 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

The Blues will enter training camp missing forwards Jori Lehtera and Patrik Berglund. Lehtera had ankle surgery Aug. 4 and is expected to be out 6-8 weeks. Berglund will have surgery on his right shoulder on Friday and will be re-evaluated in four months.

"It gives him a great opportunity," Blues GM Doug Armstrong said of Gomez. "I talked to Scott's representative when Lehtera went down. Seeing as Lehtera wasn't going to be participating in the first part of camp, if [Gomez] wanted to come in and play with some good players and show what he can do. Obviously now with the Berglund injury, it has opened up wide open for Gomez and for players like [Jordan] Caron and [Danny] Kristo and [Justin] Hodgman and obviously our own players like [Ty] Rattie, Fabbri, [Ivan] Barbashev. It's going to be a really competitive camp. The one spot that was locked down is now open."

Also receiving training camp offers were forwards Spencer Asuchak, Eriah Hayes, Zach O'Brien and Evan Trupp.

Hayes, 27, is the only one with NHL experience. The 6-foot-4, 210-pound right wing had 10 shots on goal and two penalty minutes in four games with the San Jose Sharks last season. He also had eight goals and 25 points in 59 games with the Worcester Sharks, San Jose's American Hockey League affiliate.

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