EDMONTON, Alberta -- The Sharks keep saying nice things about Scott Gomez, but so far the 33-year-old unrestricted free agent appears to remain one step shy of signing with the team.
Gomez skated with the Sharks again Tuesday as it prepared for its game against the Edmonton Oilers, and coach Todd McLellan made it clear afterward he has liked what he's seen.
"My interaction with him so far, he's coming across as a very hungry player, a guy that would love to prove himself right before he proves everybody else wrong," McLellan said, "and that's a pretty strong motivator."
The coach alluded to the problems Gomez faced in Montreal, where his production didn't come close to matching the money he was making
"Scotty has had a tough couple years, no doubt about it," McLellan said. "Everybody knows what's happened to him as far as his play and his health in Montreal. He's looking for a fresh start."
The coach again said Gomez appears to be in good shape.
"He's healthy, he's got a smile on his face right now. Those are all good qualities," McLellan said. "After that, everything else is out of my hands. It's between the manager and the player. Something will have to happen, he'll either be a Shark or he won't be."
An announcement could come as soon
Sharks captain Joe Thornton also had kind words for Gomez, who won the Stanley Cup twice in New Jersey where San Jose associate coach Larry Robinson was on the staff.
"He's had some hard luck in the past," Thornton noted. "You watch and you see how talented he is. He just has to be in the right situation. Hopefully this can work out for him. He would be a nice pick-up for us."