Hershey update: 20-13-1-5, 3rd in the Atlantic Division. Last week: 2-2-0-0
The Hershey Bears signed forward Scott Gomez to a professional tryout agreement on Thursday. The 36-year-old veteran recorded eight points in 21 games with the St. Louis Blues this season before being placed on unconditional waivers and released.
Gomez won two Stanley Cups in his career, both with the New Jersey Devils.
"Scott has been a really good pro in the league for a long time," Caps head coach Barry Trotz said. "He’s got a real high skill set. Especially at the American level, he should be able to help a [Jakub] Vrana, who should be back fairly soon here, and some of our younger people. A guy like Chandler Stephenson can learn from a Scott Gomez."
It's important to note that the deal Gomez signed is with Hershey only. He has no affiliation with the Capitals and could not be called up to the NHL. The only benefit he will bring to the Caps is as a mentor unless they offer him a contract as well.
The blue line is proving to be an important source of offense for Hershey. In the team's last four games both Connor Carrick and Christian Djoos recorded three points while Tyler Lewington chipped in another two. In today's NHL, puck-possessing, offensive defensemen are an invaluable resource and the Caps appear to have plenty of that type talent in the AHL.
Garrett Mitchell is also proving to be an important source offense by himself with five points in his last four games.
Jakub Vrana has been cleared for full-contact practice and Hershey head coach Troy Mann said he could return to action as soon as this weekend. Vrana was not in the lineup for Friday's win, however, so the wait continues.
Chandler Stephenson is expected to miss Hershey's games this weekend after suffering a setback in his recovery. He is dealing with an upper-body injury that has kept him out for six straight games.
Other prospect notes:
The Caps have more offensive defensemen elsewhere in their system besides just Hershey as evidenced by Connor Hobbs. Hobbs is enjoying a breakout year for the Regina Pats of the WHL. The Yahoo! Sports blog Buzzing the Net recently featured Hobbs in a post about how he is hitting his stride this season. You can read it here.
Tim McGauley had a big night on Jan. 8 as he recorded two goals and two assists to help lead the Brandon Wheat Kings to the 8-1 win over Prince Albert. You can see the highlights here. His line feasted on the defense of Prince Albert all night and finished with a combined 12 points.
Goalie Vitek Vanecek was assigned back to the South Carolina Stingrays after returning from the World Juniors Championship. He served as the backup goalie for the Stingrays in Friday's game, but did not play.
Thomas DiPauli of Notre Dame tallied an assist in the Irish's win over Western Michigan on Jan. 8 that was reminiscent of the Caps' power play. The assist came on Notre Dame's sixth goal of the game. Watch it here:
Looks like he would fit right in on the Caps' power play unit.
Zach Sanford's Boston College Eagles faced Brian Pinho's Providence Friars faced off in a two-game series on Jan. 8 and 9. The Eagles got the better of Providence with a win and a tie. Sanford had three assists in the first game, but was held off the score sheet for the second. Pinho had three assists in the two games as well, but seemed to really come alive in Providence's next game against Vermont.
The Friars beat Vermont 3-1 on Friday and Pinho had a hand in each of this team's three goals with one goal and two assists on the night.
Check out the highlights here:
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