The Montreal Canadiens have sent Scott Gomez home for the season.
General manager Marc Bergevin said at the opening of training camp that he will buy out the center's contract next summer to remove his team-high $7.3 million salary cap hit from the books. Under the new collective bargaining agreement signed Saturday, the cap is to plunge by about $10 million next season, but teams will be allowed two ''amnesty'' buyouts to help reach the cap.
However, if a player is injured, he cannot be bought out. Bergevin said it was safest for the team that Gomez not play this season.
''I have nothing against Scott Gomez,'' he said. ''It was the best thing for the future of the team.''
Gomez has been a disappointment on the ice the last two seasons. Last season, the 33-year-old was limited to 38 games by injuries and had two goals and nine assists.