ANCHORAGE (AP) - Scott Gomez' experiment with minor league hockey has won him an individual award.
Gomez, a former National Hockey League all star, has been named Most Valuable Player by the ECHL.
Gomez, 25, was left looking for a team after the NHL season was wiped out by a labor dispute.
The former NHL Rookie of the Year with the New Jersey Devils and two-time Stanley Cup champion opted to play for his hometown professional team, the Alaska Aces, for $500 a week rather than accept more lucrative offers in Europe.
In 61 games, Gomez scored 13 goals and 73 assists for 86 points, most in the ECHL. The sixth-year pro led the Aces in assists, points, power-play points and short-handed points.
Gomez centered Alaska's top line, skating between Chris Minard, 23, a third-year pro, and Charles Linglet, a second-year pro. Minard led the league in scoring and finished second in the MVP balloting by league coaches. Linglet scored a career-high 28 goals.
Gomez is expected to miss the rest of the playoffs after suffering a fractured bone in his pelvis in Game 4 of the Aces' first-round series against the Bakersfield Condors in California on Saturday.
Alaska beat visiting Bakersfield 6-2 in a deciding Game 5 on Monday to advance to the best-of-5 West Division finals. The series against the Long Beach Ice Dogs begins Friday in California.
According to the Aces, Gomez is expected to travel with the team and will work behind the bench with Aces coach Davis Payne.
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