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Scott Gomez (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

Scott Gomez (Ed Mulholland-USA TODAY Sports)

BROOKLYN (May 30, 2017) – The New York Islanders announced [Tuesday] that Scott Gomez has been named an Assistant Coach. Gomez retired from hockey at the completion of the 2015-16 season and will begin his coaching career with the Islanders this upcoming season. 

His 16-year NHL career included a Calder Memorial Trophy in 1999-00 as the league’s top rookie, as well as two Stanley Cup Championships with the New Jersey Devils (2000, 2003). A two-time NHL All-Star, Gomez scored 756 points (181 goals, 575 assists) in 1,079 career regular-season games with the Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators. In 2003-04, Gomez led the NHL in assists (56, tied with Martin St. Louis).

“Scott brings an immense amount of hockey knowledge to our coaching staff,” Head Coach Doug Weight said.  “His offensive instincts, expertise on the power-play and the way he could control the game with his skating and smarts, are all key elements that we want implemented into our group. He played in the league as recently as the 2015-16 season so he can relate to today’s NHL player in an effort to bring out the best in each member of the team.” 

The New Jersey Devils selected Gomez in the first round, 27th overall, of the 1998 NHL Draft. A native of Anchorage, Alaska, Gomez scored 101 points (29 goals, 72 assists) in 149 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

On the international stage, Gomez played for Team USA at the 2006 Winter Olympic Games, the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 1998 and 1999 World Junior Championships.

The announcement that Gomez will be joining the Isles’ staff comes less than two weeks after the club announced the hiring of Luke Richardson – and these additions are a real breath of fresh air.

This season, the Islanders finished 28th in the league on the power play with a conversion rate of just 14.9%. While the Isles finished in tenth place in goals per game (2.91), the squad finished 23rd overall on goals against per game (2.90).

The Isles also had 12 overtime losses in the 2016-17 campaign, good for sixth place league-wide. One would think that a few more power play goals here and there could have made the difference in the Isles making the playoffs this year.

To be fair, losing Frans Nielsen in free agency could be partly to blame for the man-advantage woes. But next season, everyone is a little more experienced, and that includes young players. In particular, finesse-machine Joshua Ho-Sang has gotten a good taste of what NHL competition looks like. Assuming he remains with the main roster next season (I have no doubt that he will), I could see the 21-year old Toronto-native inserted into the power play.

Gomez, a terrific set-up guy in his day, scored 33.7% of his career points while on the power play. With the help of Gomez, Ho-Sang, who has tremendous potential as an NHL playmaker, could become a real power play specialist, something the Islanders have been lacking.

All in all, another solid choice for the Islanders’ front office. Having the right talent on the ice is important. But without the right coaching to bring out the best in those players, the team is bound to go nowhere. Together, the additions of Richardson and Gomez demonstrate the organization’s commitment to improvement.

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Evan is the Hockey Editor for He provides coverage of the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, New York Islanders, and Philadelphia Flyers, as well as some league-wide content.

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