Listen, when a player retires you are supposed to glorify their accomplishments. It's a tradition as old as organized sports themselves. That's why I am going to do the honor of referring to Scott Gomez as New Jersey Devils' lifer. More specifically, an athlete that spent his entire professional career with one organization. I know, I know. Technically speaking, he actually played for seven different teams, but he only lived up to his insane potential in one of those destinations so I feel comfortable saying that - as far as hockey is concerned - he only truly has one home.
You see, Scott Gomez is exactly what you want out of someone that callously spurns your team to accept an asinine amount of money from their biggest rival. He's a guy that won multiple championships before doing so, failed miserably to fulfill his promise after doing so, and eventually came crawling back to put together one last solid season in the jersey that became associated with nearly all of his success. Shit, I can make the (admittedly slightly biased) argument that - as far as living up to expectations is concerned - the second best stint of Scott Gomez' illustrious career was when he returned to New Jersey as a tryout and became one of the best players on a bad team at the age of 35. If you cut away all the fat ass checks that were only partially earned then Scott Gomez is really one of the most decorated Devils of all time.
Was he at one point a mercenary that I wanted nothing but bad things to happen to? Of course. However, that encore in New Jersey left a good taste in the mouth of the fanbase and allows us to embrace him in retirement. His unlikeliest of career paths has afforded me the opportunity to truly appreciate the effortlessness with which he once weaved through some of the most talented athletes in the sport. I can happily say that he was one of the most entertaining players I have ever watched with the puck on his stick with some of the most awe-inspiring vision the game has ever witnessed once the puck left his stick. Most importantly, 'Gomer' is someone that will reflect most fondly back on the moments in which he was wearing a Devils jersey. As an illogically devoted fan, there is something to be said for that.
P.S. If you haven't read this before, do so now. If you already have, do it again. Trust me, it's worth it...