SAN JOSE -- Scott Gomez became a Shark on Wednesday, but how soon he plays and in exactly what role remains uncertain.

Gomez signed a one-year, $700,000 contract that reportedly has been in the works since he began practicing and traveling with the team on Saturday. The two-time Stanley Cup winner with the New Jersey Devils became an unrestricted free agent the previous week when the NHL changed its rules to allow the Montreal Canadiens to buy out the final two years of his seven year, $51 million contract.

To make room for Gomez, the Sharks placed defenseman Brent Burns on injured reserve, a strong signal that a key member of the blue line is further away from playing than previously indicated. The team has been extremely quiet about the nature of the lower-body problem or how long it might keep him out of action.

Coach Todd McLellan declined to say how he planned to use Gomez in the lineup, though a third-line role would appear to be the obvious place.

"We think of Scott as a guy who can add speed to our lineup, certainly has some tremendous puck skills and some poise with it," McLellan said, adding Gomez likely will be helping on the power play.

It appeared unlikely Gomez would be in the lineup Thursday night for the Sharks home opener against Phoenix, making it possible he would make his debut in weekend games at HP Pavilion against Colorado or Vancouver.

  • The Sharks rewarded their top minor league scorer, Tim Kennedy, with a new one-year contract Wednesday. Kennedy has 30 points in 31 games with Worcester.


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  • The Sharks say about 300 tickets remain for the home opener Thursday night.