Scott Gomez called it a career on Wednesday night, after 16 NHL seasons.
The 36-year-old veteran explained his decision to Doyle Woody of the Alaska Dispatch News, saying, “This has been my life. It's so weird to think I'm never going to play hockey again.”
His career spanned 1079 games for the New Jersey Devils, New York Rangers, Montreal Canadiens, San Jose Sharks, Florida Panthers, St. Louis Blues and Ottawa Senators, and included 181 goals and 756 points. The 27th pick in the 1998 draft by the Devils, Gomez tallied 19 goals and 70 points in his first season, earning an All-Star Game nod and claiming the Calder Trophy as top rookie in 1999.
He won two Stanley Cups with New Jersey in 2000 and 2003 and added appearances with Team USA at the 2004 World Cup of Hockey and the 2006 Olympics to his resume.
“People say, 'You'll find something,’” he said. “But saying that, there will never be that feeling again, of even playing a preseason NHL game. You're playing at the highest level there is.”
The first Hispanic player in the NHL, Gomez was also the fifth Alaskan in the league, even returning home to play with the ECHL’s Aces during the 2004-05 and 2012-13 lockouts.