The Hershey Bears announced this morning that Scott Gomez had exercised his option for release from his PTO. According to Hershey’s website, Doug Yingst, who made the announcement, said that it “was a mutual decision agreed upon between Scott and the Hershey Bears.”
In his 18 games with the Bears, Gomez, who debuted for Hershey on January 16, scored 4 goals and registered 20 assists. With a +/- of 13, Gomez often paired on lines with rookies and elevated their play with phenomenal passing. In what now is his final game with Hershey, Gomez was paired with Nathan Walker and Riley Barber. He had an assist on Walker’s goal and was also on the ice for Barber’s.
In addition to the loss of Gomez, the Bears also saw Connor Carrick and Chris Brown dealt in trades by Washington. Brown’s trade appears to have been orchestrated by the Caps and Rangers to move two players to different organizations based on requests by the players.
In 20 games this season for Hershey, Brown, who started the season in Washington, never really go going. He netted just 3 goals and recorded 6 assists. Ryan Bourque, brother of the AHL’s leading scorer and current Hershey Bear, comes in after spending the past two seasons in Hartford. This season, he has scored 10 goals and has 14 assists in 56 games. The Bourque brothers will reunite again after playing together for Hartford last season.
Carrick, like Brown, spent some time in Washington this season, but the loss of Carrick may just be the one that hurts the most from an off-the ice perspective.
In 47 games this season with Hershey, Carrick has scored 10 goals and recorded 16 assists. His +/- rating of 23 is a huge improvement from last year’s -8 and was noted by Troy Mann during a postgame press conference prior to the All-Star break as showing the maturation of Carrick on the ice.
But it is the off-ice Carrick that many in Hershey will miss. Whether it be at Hockey in Heels, the Run for Rachel fundraiser at a local Arooga’s, or in appearances at local schools, you won’t find a nicer, friendlier guy than Carrick. This guy is the epitome of class. Not once did he ever complain about not getting more chances in Washington. In fact, he was ever so giddy in recounting his time there and the call-up that you couldn’t help but smile. All in all, Toronto got a real gem in Carrick, both on and off the ice. For his sake, I hope he does well in Toronto. For Washington’s sake, I just hope it’s any night except tomorrow night.
By Julie Beidler