NHL Trade Rumors: 5 Teams That Could Be Willing to Take a Flier on Scott Gomez

Nicholas Goss@@NicholasGoss35Correspondent ISeptember 16, 2011

NHL Trade Rumors: 5 Teams That Could Be Willing to Take a Flier on Scott Gomez

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    Scott Gomez has the worst contract of any player in the NHL who is not consistently hurt. He's never played less than 72 games, but also has not been an elite player throughout his career, despite being paid like one.

    Gomez's current contract has a salary cap hit of about $7.35 million for three more seasons. He won't become an unrestricted free agent until the summer of 2014.

    Gomez posted career lows in goals (7), assists (31) and plus-minus (minus-15) last season for the Montreal Canadiens, and played terribly in the team's first-round series loss to the rival Boston Bruins in seven games last year.

    With that said, he is a veteran who can provide leadership to a young team, and with the right fit, could play as a solid No. 2 center.

    Let's look at five teams who may be willing to acquire Scott Gomez.

Dallas Stars

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    Any team acquiring Scott Gomez must have enough cap space to pay him or enough large contracts to send back to Montreal to balance out the money on both sides of a trade.

    The Dallas Stars have over $14 million in salary cap space after losing their top center, Brad Richards, to free agency this summer.

    The only player they got to replace his offensive production was former Boston Bruins winger Michael Ryder, who is very inconsistent.

    Gomez would give the Stars another good center who would be able to help lead a young team.

Colorado Avalanche

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    Another young team with loads of cap space is the Colorado Avalanche, who actually have the most cap space in the NHL with a bit above $15 million.

    The Avalanche could use another center, and they have many good young players that Gomez could mentor on and off the ice.

    Gomez would also have enough quality teammates to pass to on the Avs to help his assist numbers. His tough and physical play would also be good for a young team to develop.

Florida Panthers

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    The Florida Panthers made a number of offseason signings this summer, some good and some bad.

    The Panthers are typically one of the league's worst teams, but they have a lot of young talent both at the NHL and minor league levels.

    Gomez would give the Panthers more offense at the center position, and he would be a leader who could help a very young organization.

    The Panthers are years away from being a real playoff contender, so taking on Gomez's contract is not a major burden for them right now.

Nashville Predators

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    The Nashville Predators have several of its best players due for big contracts soon, including defensemen Shea Weber and Ryan Suter, and goaltender Pekka Rinne.

    They can't sign all of them, so trading one of them to the Canadiens for Gomez and another good player could be a move to help both sides.

    Both teams have numerous players with good-sized salaries, so a deal could definitely be worked out. Nashville doesn't have much offense, and Gomez would certainly be able to help.

Minnesota Wild

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    The Minnesota Wild are another team a few years away from being a real threat to make the NHL playoffs, so acquiring Gomez might not be a terrible idea.

    He would be a good offensive addition to a team that needs goal scoring and playmaking.

    The Wild have about $9 million in salary cap space, so they could either take on most of the contract, or send some good-sized salaries back to Montreal.