The veteran forward wanted to join a National Hockey League club earlier this season, but ended going to the 2018 Winter Olympics in PyeongChang, South Korea instead. Having lost with the United States of America team, he is back on his first goal:
Brian Gionta is making his return to the NHL, and according to Brian Bartlett of Sports Consulting Group, the agency that represents Gionta, the 39-year-old Rochester native is expected to sign with an NHL team in the near future.
Bartlett added that Gionta would be signing with a team that will be a serious playoff contender but could not specify which team because the deal has not been signed yet.
Gionta, the former captain of the Buffalo Sabres and Montreal Canadiens, has taken part in 1,006 NHL games, tallying 289 goals and a total of 588 points. Gionta captained Team USA at the 2018 PyeongChang Games, and has always looked to return to the NHL. Before the Olympics, Gionta said he would keep his options open and would like to keep playing if it was a possibility. In the months leading up to the games, Gionta practiced with the Rochester Americans of the AHL and appeared in one-game, recording a goal.
Back at the start of the season, Gionta knew that the chances of returning to the Sabres were slim.
“The door is not completely shut but very unlikely,” Gionta had told Sportsnet back in July.
“I’m still trying to figure things out. At this point in my career, it’s got to be a good situation for the family, so I’m just working through some things.”
Several Cup contenders have been looking to add an offensive boost and depth, more precisely to their fourth line, notably the Boston Bruins, San Jose Sharks, St. Louis Blues and Toronto Maple Leafs.
The Bruins are expected to be included in that conversation, as Gionta spent four seasons at Boston College from the 1997-98 season until the 2000-01 season. However, young players and veterans are already fighting for spots in Boston, which could push them out of the Gionta sweepstakes as the 39-year-old probably does not a have a place in the Bruins' roster.
The Leafs are trying to land help down the middle, as a right winger, Gionta would not answer the void in Toronto. However, wherever he may end up, and we should know soon enough, Gionta is expected to bring loads of leadership to the dressing room. In 112 postseason games in his career, the veteran forward tallied 32 goals and 68 points - which no Cup contender can say no to...