By Budd Bailey, Buffalo Sports Page Columnist
Brian Gionta – Signed by the Sabres in 2014
The Sabres were obviously at the start of a rebuilding program in the summer of 2014. They were coming off a poor season, and the prospects for an immediate turnaround. The team’s front office thought a little veteran leadership might help, and Brian Gionta agreed to fill that spot for three years at a total of $12.75 million.
Gionta has been a solid winger earlier in his career, peaking with 48 goals for the Devils in 2005-06. He had at least 20 goals in seven straight seasons. In Montreal, his second stop in the NHL, Gionta was captain of the Canadiens for four seasons. Three months after signing the Sabres, he was named captain just before the start of the regular season.
Gionta played three full years as a Sabre, scoring 13, 12 and 15 goals. He had the misfortune of being on the team when it went through the famous “tank” season of 2014-15. Gionta deserved a better fate than that, but he was a pro on some teams that weren’t full of them.
Here’s how he said goodbye:
(Follow Budd on Twitter @WDX2BB)
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