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An effort was made by then GM Bob Gainey back in the summer of 2009 to completely retool the Montreal Canadiens using a model the Philadelphia Flyers had succeeded with back in 2007.
The Flyers missed the playoffs during the 2006-07 season despite a very talented lineup. They finished last in the league that year.
The Flyers began to add players that season including Martin Biron, Scott Upshall and Braydon Coburn. That offseason, they signed Daniel Briere, Kimmo Timmonen and Scott Hartnell. They drafted James Van Riemsdyk. They traded for Joffrey Lupul and Jason Smith. They finished sixth in the East and made it to the Eastern Conference finals.
While suffering from cap and goaltending problems since then, they have still been consistently competitive.
Bob Gainey's additions in the 2009 offseason were not quite as successful. They signed six veterans through free agency: D Jaroslav Spacek, D Hal Gill, LW Mike Cammalleri, RW Brian Gionta, D Paul Mara, RW Travis Moen. They traded for center Scott Gomez.
The Canadiens enjoyed similar playoff success that first year, making it to the Eastern Conference final just like Philadelphia did. Their additions, however, weren't as good or as successful as the Flyers' additions were.
Scott Gomez in particular has been an underperformer in Montreal. Really, to expect more than the 59 points he put up in 2009-10 would have been unrealistic. However, the seven goals and 38 points he managed in 80 games last year were the second-worst totals in the league for a first-line center.
David Desharnais playing in 43 games. He played fewer minutes and had none of the abundant power play time Gomez was being given. He scored eight goals and had 22 points. This season, playing for the injured Scott Gomez, he has 10 goals and 36 points in 51 games. He has more than adequately replaced Scott Gomez's almost non-existent offense.
The time is long past to stick Scott Gomez and his $7.357 million cap hit in the minors. You can't trade a player making that much money and scoring as little as he does. There are still two years and almost $15 million left on this contract; you don't want to buy him out.
He needs to be waived through the league and reassigned to the AHL so the team doesn't spend the offseason with that salary counting against the cap.
Getting rid of that cap hit gives the team the opportunity to bid on the more exciting free agents that may still be available in July, like Zach Parise and Ryan Suter. It also frees up cap room that could be better invested in restricted free agents like Carey Price, P.K. Subban and Lars Eller.
The organization declared the 2009 experiment a failure when the best player they signed that year, Mike Cammalleri, was traded. It's time to move Scott Gomez out of the way. He's untradeable and unusable.