|This article relies largely or entirely upon a single source. (January 2010)|
Gionta in 2008 as a member of the New Jersey Devils
January 18, 1979 |
Rochester, NY, USA
|Height||5 ft 7 in (170 cm)|
|Weight||175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)|
New Jersey Devils
|National team||United States|
|NHL Draft||82nd overall, 1998
New Jersey Devils
Brian Joseph Gionta (born January 18, 1979) is an American professional ice hockey player and captain of the Montreal Canadiens of the National Hockey League (NHL), and is the second American-born captain of the Canadiens and its first sole American-born captain (the first, Chris Chelios, was a co-captain with Guy Carbonneau). He goes by the nickname "Gio" from his teammates and The Rochester Rocket, dubbed by the media. Although small in stature compared to most other players (Gionta is currently the second-shortest player in the NHL; fellow Boston College Eagle Nathan Gerbe is two inches shorter), he is known for his tenacious play.
Gionta was drafted 82nd overall by the New Jersey Devils in the 1998 NHL Entry Draft. The diminutive but fiery forward attended high school at the Aquinas Institute in Rochester, NY, then skated for Boston College from 1997 to 2001, winning a National Championship as Eagles captain in the 2000–2001 season. He was mentored by current New York Islanders forward Marty Reasoner; also a Rochester, NY native; and enjoyed his best statistical season in his freshman year on a line with Reasoner, posting 30 goals and 62 points in 40 games as the Eagles fell to the University of Michigan in the National Championship game in Boston.
Gionta followed up with a 60 point season his sophomore year as BC was eliminated by Hockey East rival, the University of Maine in the Frozen Four semifinals, then a 33 goal, 56 point season in his junior year as the Eagles fell to North Dakota in that year's National Championship game.
In his senior season as captain, Gionta's point total dipped again to 54 points, however, a roster stocked with future NHL talent produced a national championship as Boston College defeated North Dakota, 3–2 in overtime in Albany, New York. During his senior season he led the nation in goal scoring with 33 goals, including a spectacular performance against the University of Maine, in which he scored 5 Goals on his first 5 shots.
His brother, Stephen, played for Boston College and helped distinguish the Eagles as one of the best college hockey teams in the nation; Stephen signed an amateur tryout contract with the Albany River Rats, the Devils' farm team, in April 2006. Stephen has now been called up from the Devils affiliate, now the Albany Devils, and is skating with the Devils for the 2012 playoffs.
Brian has played 310 games for New Jersey, plus 50 playoff games. He was a member of the 2002–03 Stanley Cup championship team. He played for their affiliate, the Albany River Rats of the American Hockey League (AHL) during the 2004–2005 lockout. He was part of the 2006 U.S. Men's Olympic Hockey team that competed in Turin, Italy.
Listed at 5'7", Gionta is one of the shortest players currently playing in the National Hockey League. He has enjoyed great success from the second half of the 2003–2004 season up until present day. He was one third of the Devils' "EGG" line, playing right wing for linemates Patrik Elias and Scott Gomez.
Gionta was one of the Devils' most effective offensive players, despite his small stature. Gionta is effective because he "crashes the net". On March 28, 2006, Gionta became the first Devils player to score 40 goals in a season since Elias and Alexander Mogilny each reached the mark in the 2000–01 season. On the last game of the season, he broke Pat Verbeek's franchise record for goals in a season, finishing with 48. As of 2011[update], Gionta also currently holds the franchise all-time power play goal scoring record in a season with 24.
On July 1, 2009, Gionta signed a five-year contract for $25 million with the Montreal Canadiens. It reunited him with former Devils' teammate Scott Gomez.
On September 29, 2010, he became only the second American born player for the Montreal Canadiens to be honoured as Team captain after Chris Chelios.
During the 2012–13 season, Gionta played in all 48 games of the lockout shortened season and registered 14 goals and 12 assists while leading the Montreal Canadiens on a remarkable comeback from last in the Eastern Conference to their 23rd Northeast Division title. Entering the 2013 Stanley Cup playoffs as the second seed against the Ottawa Senators, Gionta tore his bicep in Game 1 and had to undergo season ending surgery to repair it.
Gionta is the middle child of Sam and Penny Gionta. He and his wife, Harvest, have a son, Adam and daughter Leah. They welcomed their third child in May 2012, a boy named James Edward Gionta  He also has a brother, Stephen Gionta, who plays for the New Jersey Devils. He also has an older brother Joe, who also played for the Aquinas Institute Hockey Team and graduated in 1994. His parents still reside in Rochester, NY.
Shortly after being named team captain, Gionta was prompted to enroll his children in a French immersion school which indicated his commitment to remain in Montreal.
Awards and honors
- 1993–94: Rookie of the Year (Aquinas Institute)
- 1997–98: Rookie of the Year (Hockey East)
- 1999: All-Star Selection, Forward, 1999 IIHF world junior hockey championships
- 2000–01: Walter Brown Award New England's Outstanding American-born College player. Shared with Ty Conklin (NCAA)
- 2000–01: Player of the Year (Hockey East)
- 2002–03: Stanley Cup – New Jersey Devils (NHL)
- New Jersey Devils record for most goals in a season (48 in 2005–06)
- Shortest player to play in the NHL (5"7)
Regular season and playoffs
|1997–98||Boston College Eagles||HE||40||30||32||62||44||—||—||—||—||—|
|1998–99||Boston College Eagles||HE||39||27||33||60||46||—||—||—||—||—|
|1999–00||Boston College Eagles||HE||42||33||23||56||66||—||—||—||—||—|
|2000–01||Boston College Eagles||HE||43||33||21||54||47||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||Albany River Rats||AHL||37||9||16||25||18||—||—||—||—||—|
|2001–02||New Jersey Devils||NHL||33||4||7||11||8||6||2||2||4||0|
|2002–03||New Jersey Devils||NHL||58||12||13||25||23||24||1||8||9||6|
|2003–04||New Jersey Devils||NHL||75||21||8||29||36||5||2||3||5||0|
|2004–05||Albany River Rats||AHL||15||5||7||12||10||—||—||—||—||—|
|2005–06||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||48||41||89||46||9||3||4||7||2|
|2006–07||New Jersey Devils||NHL||62||25||20||45||36||11||8||1||9||4|
|2007–08||New Jersey Devils||NHL||82||22||31||53||46||5||1||0||1||2|
|2008–09||New Jersey Devils||NHL||81||20||40||60||32||7||2||3||5||4|
|Junior int'l totals||13||11||8||19||6|
|Senior int'l totals||29||10||2||12||16|
- Collins gem Hockey Facts and Stats 2009–10, p.530, Andrew Podnieks, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, Toronto, Canada, ISBN 978-1-55468-621-6
- "Isles send Habs to 1st regulation loss in month". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-03-06.
- Brian Gionta's career statistics at The Internet Hockey Database
- Brian Gionta's player profile at NHL.com
|Awards and achievements|
|Hockey East Rookie of the Year
|Hockey East Player of the Year
|Hockey East Three-Stars Award
|Montreal Canadiens captain