Anchorage's Scott Gomez, who twice brought the Stanley Cup to town, is now bringing his game to town.
Gomez, whose successful National Hockey League career with the New Jersey Devils is on hold because of the NHL lockout, signed a contract Monday with the Alaska Aces. He'll be in uniform for the team Friday when the Aces play the San Diego Gulls at Sullivan Arena.
Gomez, a two-time Stanley Cup winner, NHL All-Star and 2000 rookie of the year, was due to make $2.9 million with the Devils this season. He'll make $500 a week with the Aces, who play in the AA-level ECHL.
"I figured one day if I ever run for mayor, this is always going to look good for me," a smiling Gomez said at an afternoon press conference. "I'm excited for my whole family and all my friends who will get to see me play.
"And it's just great to have the chance to give back to Alaska."
Gomez, 24, is the first NHL player to agree to play in the 28-team ECHL. Hundreds of NHL players have joined teams in Europe, and Gomez himself was offered a six-figure salary to play in Russia.
This changes the balance of power in the West. I was leaning towards a San Jose-Detroit conference final but now that will have to change. A second round matchup between the Sharks and Avs should be interesting.