Brian Gionta

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Brian Gionta
BrianJGionta2014.png
Gionta in 2014 as a member of the Montreal Canadiens
Born (1979-01-18) January 18, 1979 (age 35)
Rochester, NY, USA
Height 5 ft 7 in (170 cm)
Weight 175 lb (79 kg; 12 st 7 lb)
Position Right Wing
Shoots Right
NHL team
Former teams
Buffalo Sabres
New Jersey Devils
Montreal Canadiens
National team  United States
NHL Draft 82nd overall, 1998
New Jersey Devils
Playing career 2001–present

Brian Joseph Gionta (born January 18, 1979) is an American professional ice hockey player currently playing with the Buffalo Sabres of the National Hockey League (NHL). He goes by the nickname "Gio" from his teammates and The Rochester Rocket, dubbed by the media.[citation needed] 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.

Playing career[edit]

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 where in 1993–94 he was seleceted as their Rookie of the Year. He 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, Gionta also currently holds the franchise all-time power play goal scoring record in a season with 24.

On October 27, 2007, Gionta scored the first Devils' goal in the history of the Prudential Center in the second period of a 4–1 loss to Ottawa. (Chris Neil scored the first ever).

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.[1]

Prior to his second season with the club in 2010–11, 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.

On March 5, 2013, he scored the 20,000th NHL goal in the history of the Canadiens in a game against the New York Islanders.[note 1]

During the 2012–13 season, Gionta played in all 48 games of the lockout shortened season and registered 14 goals and 12 assists[2] while leading the Montreal Canadiens on a remarkable comeback from last in the Eastern Conference to their 23rd Northeast Division title.[3] 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.[4]

On July 1, 2014, he signed a three-year free agent deal with hometown team, the Buffalo Sabres for $4.25 million per year.[5]

Personal[edit]

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 [6] 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.

Records[edit]

  • New Jersey Devils record for most goals in a season (48 in 2005–06)

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular season Playoffs
Season Team League GP G A Pts PIM GP G A Pts PIM
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
2009–10 Montreal Canadiens NHL 61 28 18 46 26 19 9 6 15 14
2010–11 Montreal Canadiens NHL 82 29 17 46 24 7 3 2 5 0
2011–12 Montreal Canadiens NHL 31 8 7 15 16
2012–13 Montreal Canadiens NHL 48 14 12 26 8 2 0 1 1 0
2013–14 Montreal Canadiens NHL 81 18 22 40 22 17 1 6 7 2
NHL totals 776 249 236 485 323 112 32 36 68 34

International[edit]

Year Team Event Result GP G A Pts PIM
1998 United States WJC 5th 7 5 3 8 0
1999 United States WJC 8th 6 6 5 11 6
2000 United States WC 5th 7 2 1 3 2
2001 United States WC 4th 9 2 0 2 6
2005 United States WC 6th 7 2 1 3 6
2006 United States OG 8th 6 4 0 4 2
Junior totals 13 11 8 19 6
Senior totals 29 10 2 12 16

Awards and honors[edit]

Award Year
All-Hockey East Rookie Team 1997–98
Hockey East Rookie of the Year 1997–98
All-Hockey East Second Team 1997–98
AHCA East Second-Team All-American 1997–98
All-Hockey East First Team 1998–99
AHCA East First-Team All-American 1998–99
All-Star Selection, World Junior Championships 1999 [7]
All-Hockey East First Team 1999–00
AHCA East First-Team All-American 1999–00
All-Hockey East First Team 2000–01
AHCA East First-Team All-American 2000–01
Hockey East Player of the Year 2000–01
Stanley Cup (New Jersey Devils) 2002–03

Notes[edit]

^ 1: Michael Cammalleri had previously scored the 20,000th goal in Canadiens' franchise history in 2009. Cammalleri's mark included the Canadiens time in the National Hockey Association.[8]

References[edit]

  1. ^ "Canadiens ink Gionta to five-year deal". The Sports Network. 2009-07-01. Retrieved 2014-05-06. 
  2. ^ "Brian Gionta player profile". Montreal Canadiens. 2013-06-01. Retrieved 2013-06-01. 
  3. ^ "2012-13 NHL Standings". National Hockey League. 2013-05-01. Retrieved 2013-05-01. 
  4. ^ "Brian Gionta to undergo surgery". habseyesontheprize.com. 2013-05-08. Retrieved 2013-05-08. 
  5. ^ "Gionta glad to be with hometown Buffalo Sabres". National Hockey League. 2014-07-01. Retrieved 2014-07-01. 
  6. ^ "Gionta becomes dad for third time" (in French). 25stanley.com. 2012-05-18. Retrieved 2012-05-18. 
  7. ^ Collins gem Hockey Facts and Stats 2009–10, p.530, Andrew Podnieks, Harper Collins Publishers Ltd, Toronto, Canada, ISBN 978-1-55468-621-6
  8. ^ "Isles send Habs to 1st regulation loss in month". Sports Illustrated. Associated Press. 2013-03-06. Retrieved 2013-03-06. 

External links[edit]

Awards and achievements
Preceded by
Greg Koehler
Hockey East Rookie of the Year
1997–98
Succeeded by
Darren Haydar
Preceded by
Ty Conklin
Mike Mottau
Hockey East Player of the Year
2000–01
Succeeded by
Darren Haydar
Preceded by
Award Created
Hockey East Three-Stars Award
2000–01
Succeeded by
Colin Hemingway
Sporting positions
Preceded by
Saku Koivu
Montreal Canadiens captain
201014
Succeeded by
TBD