Scott Gomez announced his retirement on Wednesday, officially ending his 16-year NHL career.
Gomez, 36, played in 1079 regular season games and registered 181 goals and 756 points.
After being drafted by the New Jersey Devils 27th overall in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Gomez scored 19 goals and 70 points in 82 games during his rookie season in 1999-00 .Gomez received the Calder Trophy as rookie of the year and began a successful seven-year stint with the Devils. Gomez and the Devils would go on to win the Stanley Cup in 2000 and 2003 before he signed with the New York Rangers as a free agent on July 1, 2007. Gomez would later play for the Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators.
The native of Anchorage, Alaska, returned to his home state to play for the Alaska Aces of the East Coast Hockey League during the 2004-05 and 2012-13 NHL lockouts, to the delight of hometown fans that had followed his career closely. Gomez, a member of the Alaska Sports Hall of Fame, also represented the United States at the 2004 World Cup and 2006 Winter Olympics.
Despite playing in cities like New York and Montreal during his NHL career, Gomez has never forgotten where he came from and is returning home.
“What I accomplished started here,” Gomez told the Alaska Dispatch News. “I got where I am because of this neighborhood. This is Airport Heights. This is home.”
Airport Heights is a community in Anchorage– a neighborhood where he and his family still reside today.
“I’d never think of living anywhere else. To leave, I’d almost feel I’d be betraying Eastside. This is home base.”
For Gomez, returning to home base is a fitting ending to a successful NHL career.