Brian Gionta’s time in Western New York could nearly be up, but if he has any control, his preference is to stay with the Buffalo Sabres.
As with Kane, general manager Tim Murray had previously indicated Gionta’s fate would be linked to if the Sabres are still in the playoff hunt. Entering Wednesday night’s games, the team finds themselves five points out of eighth place in the East.
However, as far as the Sabres’ captain is concerned, he wants to remain in Buffalo, regardless of the team’s postseason challenge. He confirmed his preference to Mike Harrington of The Buffalo News.
Gionta said: “It’s not really been a formal conversation but the team understands our intentions. Absolutely, I want to stay.
“I’ve been here three years. I’d love to see this through and keep pushing in the right direction.”
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The 1998 third round draft pick is enjoying a productive season with the Sabres. He’s played in all 57 games and is on course for his most points since the 2013-14 season.
One thing Gionta is sure of, whether the Sabres trade him or not, is that he will continue playing next season. Speaking recently to John Vogl of The Buffalo News, he advised he doesn’t feel like a typical 38-year old professional hockey player.
Gionta said at the time: “You can’t put a number on it, but I feel good…The body feels good.
“I feel fresh – it’s just a number to me. I look forward in the fact that I want to continue playing, and that’s about it.”
The Rochester, New York native has a good relationship with his GM. The two will make sure they keep in contact between now and March 1st, as Murray decides on his plan of action.
In that respect, Gionta appreciates the importance of the next few games, in determining his furture: “This week is very important as a team to see where we sit.
“Every week is big, but especially this week. You either keep pace or you fall behind and you can’t fall too far behind.”
Do you think Gionta will be traded before the March 1st deadline? Further, even if he does remain, do you think the Sabres will offer him another contract to return next season? Share your thoughts in the comments section.