Gionta will not sign an AHL deal and will instead focus on competing in the Olympics, Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News reports. After having a successful NHL career that included 11 playoff appearances, it's easy to understand why the veteran wants to play on a big stage one last time. However, this will likely signal the end of Gionta's pro career, unless he's willing to take a minor-league deal next season.
Gionta is very unlikely to re-sign with the Sabres, the Olean Times Herald reports. The Sabres are transitioning into the next stage of their maturation process under new general manager Jason Botterill, so not bringing back their 38-year-old captain makes sense. Gionta was a very reliable middle-six winger for the Sabres who scored at least 30 points in each of his three seasons with the club. However, there just seems to be no place for him on the team, especially after the Sabres acquired right winger Jason Pominville from Minnesota. Gionta's camp is optimistic he'll land a contract for the 2017-18 season, but his options will certainly be limited.
Gionta, who has served as the Sabres' captain since the 2014-15 season, is hoping to stay with the club, John Vogl of The Buffalo News reports. The 38-year-old has scored at least 30 points in each of his three seasons in Buffalo, and he believes that he can still be a valuable contributor in the NHL. Despite the Sabres' struggles, Gionta was one of the team's most consistent performers, but his role with the club is unclear with a new general manager at the helm.
Monday's contest against the Panthers will be the 1,000th game of Gionta's career. It's quite the accomplishment for the 37-year-old, who's been criticized for being too small throughout his career. The Sabres captain is no longer the goal scorer he once was, but he has certainly been a consistent producer during his time in Buffalo, scoring at least 30 points in each of his past three seasons. The Sabres captain has been a staple in the top-nine, but is set to become an unrestricted free agent this summer. His fantasy value is minimal in standard formats, although he may be worth a streaming start if he plays alongside Jack Eichel. Gionta has 14 goals this season and his 10.4 shooting percentage is his highest mark in three years.
Gionta managed a power-play goal and an assist in Sunday's 4-3 road loss to the Penguins. Both points took place in the first period, as the Sabres ended up squandering a 3-0 lead after the first frame. Gionta is lauded for his leadership abilities, but that only goes so far in the numbers-hungry world of fantasy hockey. He has three two-point efforts since the beginning of February (17 games), albeit with no goals or assists in the rest of those contests. It's hard to trust a guy like him in shallow leagues.
Rank Among Leaders
Last 7 Games
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