The New Jersey Devils will not attempt to re-sign forward Scott Gomez, general manager Ray Shero told Northjersey.com on Saturday.
Gomez, 35, signed Nov. 20 after a training-camp tryout and tied for the Devils lead with 27 assists in his 58 games. He will be an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"It is what it is," Gomez told reporter Tom Gulitti. "The thing is I know I can play. I've proven that. I know I can play at this level. I know I can contribute. But it's time to focus on somewhere else."
Gomez returned to the team that drafted him in the first round (No. 27) of the 1998 NHL Draft. He won the Stanley Cup twice with New Jersey (2000, 2003), and had played 123 games since the end of the 2010-11 season prior to this one.
"It says 35 on my age, but I didn't play much the last couple years, so the body is fresh as can be," Gomez said. "It's not like I'm some old 35-year-old guy. I'm excited. I'm excited to take what I learned ... last year and keep it going. There's no question I can help a team out."
The Devils have center prospect Jacob Josefson and drafted Pavel Zacha on Saturday with the sixth pick of the first round.
"Scott's been a great Devil," Devils general manager Ray Shero said. "This really isn't about Scott Gomez. This is more about Josefson and what we can find out about his development. Now, we draft Zacha. How are you going to find Zacha an opportunity to see where he is in training camp if you don't have any positions available? So, it's more not about those players in particular. It's more about giving other guys an opportunity and where we want to go and getting younger and a little different type of team."
Shero said the Devils would not re-sign unrestricted free agents Steve Bernier, Mark Fraser or Peter Harrold. The GM also said the Devils will not immediately name a captain to replace Bryce Salvador, who also becomes an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"We'll let the captain thing evolve and see if we're going to have a captain," Shero said. "We're not just going to give it to somebody. We'll give it some thought as coaching staffs do, and then the players take some responsibility and we'll see where it leads us."