Gionta was placed on waivers by the Islanders on Monday. Gionta split time between the NHL and AHL last season but was limited to a mere 33 combined games in which he recorded two goals and seven helpers. Once an 82-game NHL player, the 33-year-old is now a fringe role-player and probably will bounce between leagues again this year.
Gionta signed a one-year, two-way contract with the Islanders on Tuesday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. The deal is worth $650,000 in the NHL or $225,000 if he's sent to the minors. Gionta inked a one-year AHL deal with Bridgeport, a minor-league affiliate of the Islanders, last October, and apparently he made a good enough impression on team brass to stick around a bit longer. Still, the 33-year-old has only chipped in 56 points (16 goals, 40 assists) over 296 career NHL games, and his small stature -- he's 5-foot-7 and 175 pounds -- has been a limiting factor.
Gionta has only played in one game since his recall from the AHL on Dec. 20. Gionta is being used as the team's 13th or 14th forward which means he will only see game action when a forward or two suffers a short term injury. His first game of the season was Monday versus Buffalo where he registered a single shot on goal in just under 13 minutes of playing time.
The Islanders called up Gionta from Bridgeport of the AHL on Wednesday, Arthur Staple of Newsday reports. Some are wondering why the Islanders made this move. Is there an injury that the team hasn't made public yet? Will Gionta step in for one of several struggling forwards? We should find out more during practice Thursday. If Gionta plays Friday he will likely center the third or fourth line.
Gionta (foot) agreed to terms on a one-year deal with AHL Bridgeport Sound on Wednesday. League rules prevent a player from being released from a PTO while injured which means Gionta should be ready to go for the AHL season. Although the center was unable to parlay his tryout into a contract with New York, he will afforded the opportunity to show he still has some left in the tank in the minors. While with the Tigers, the veteran is eligible to sign with any NHL club, regardless of team affiliation.
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