Forward Brian Gionta has announced his retirement from the National Hockey League after 16 seasons. From there, it was play as long as you could.
Gionta gave no thought to playing this season and said, "I'm at peace and feel great about the decision I've made".
He might be retiring, but he's not giving up hockey. So I am announcing my retirement here today and at the same time looking forward to spending some time with the family and also taking a small part within the (Sabres) organization.
"I still wanted to be a part of the game and wanted to be a part of the organization", he said.
He also knows plenty about the Sabres prospects as he skated alongside them past year while staying in shape for the Olympics.
Gionta spent three seasons with the Sabres (2014-17) and played for the United States at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He topped 20 goals seven times, including a career-best 48 with New Jersey in 2005-06. In 2010 Gionta was named captain of the Montreal Canadians, being only the second American to be the captain of the historic franchise.
"Playing with my childhood team the Sabres was a highlight of my career", the western NY native said at a news conference Monday.
Over his career, Gionta played more than 1,000 games and scored just under 300 goals.
Gionta has agreed to a part-time job as a player development assistant with the Sabres. He had seven points (two goals, five assists) in 20 regular-season games with the Boston Bruins after signing as a free agent February 25.
Post-Olympics, Gionta signed with the Bruins, returning to the city of his college days, another dream come true.