Devils accept arbitrator's ruling, sign Gomez

Updated: July 28, 2006, 8:41 PM ET
Associated Press

New Jersey Devils

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NEWARK, N.J. -- The New Jersey Devils re-signed Scott Gomez to a one-year, $5 million contract Thursday, ending speculation that the team would be unable to fit the 26-year-old forward's contract under the NHL's salary cap.

The details of the contract were confirmed to The Associated Press by a person familiar with the negotiations who requested anonymity because the team had not yet announced the signing. The Devils did not immediately return a telephone message seeking comment.

Gomez was awarded $5 million by an arbitrator on Tuesday. According to the person familiar with the negotiations, the Devils went to arbitration offering Gomez $3.5 million, while Gomez sought $6.5 million.

Gomez earned $2.2 million last season, when he set career bests for goals (33) and points (84) for New Jersey, which lost in the second round of the playoffs to eventual Stanley Cup champion Carolina.

In six seasons with the Devils, Gomez has 103 goals and 287 assists.

With Gomez's signing, the Devils will have to do some maneuvering to get under the $44 million salary cap by the opening of the season in early October. They recently signed forward defenseman Patrik Elias and defenseman Colin White to multiyear deals totaling $42 million and $18 million, respectively.

They are also responsible for contracts totaling $7.1 million for defenseman Vladimir Malakhov and forward Alexander Mogilny, neither of whom finished the season on the team's NHL roster. Mogilny was demoted to the minor leagues and Malakhov left the team in December.

Copyright 2006 by The Associated Press