“It’s kind of like every year, you come prove yourself,” Gomez told reporters. “I’d gone through it last year. … There was talk before I even came here. Both sides agreed. It’s kind of like that for older players now. I felt like this was the best fit. It’s exciting, I guess.”
Gomez, 35, signed a contract that will pay him $575,000 in the NHL and $200,000 if he’s in the American Hockey League. He takes the roster spot of forward Patrik Berglund, who was placed on long-term injured reserve by St. Louis on Wednesday.
Gomez will bring a veteran presence to the reigning Western Conference Central Division champions. He is a 15-year veteran after playing for the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks and Florida Panthers. He is a two-time All-Star and a two-time Stanley Cup champion.
He has liked what he’s seen from the Blues the past few seasons, which made them an attractive fit when looking for his next organization.
“You look at playing against them the last couple years, just the skill set,” Gomez said. “It’s kind of weird to say it now, but it’s probably the most skilled team I’ve been on since like the old Devils days. They’ve got everything.”
Gomez said he’s had opportunities to join younger, rebuilding-type teams but instead chose to pursue a spot with a more established group.
“You want to win,” he said. “It’s fun being in a winning atmosphere. This team, it’s got everything. It’s got everything you could ask for. I was talking to a couple of the old Devils, I haven’t been on this skilled team since the early days. So that makes it exciting. You want to win.”
Gomez has done plenty of that, including winning Cups in 2000 and 2003 with the Devils, but he wants more.
The 5-foot-11, 198-pounder has racked up 747 points (180 goals, 567 assists) in 1,045 career regular season games and had 101 points (29 goals, 72 assists) in 149 career playoff games.