Ex-Canadiens captain Gionta to retire after 16 National Hockey League seasons

Ex-Canadiens captain Gionta to retire after 16 NHL seasons: report

Gionta, 39, the Greece native and Aquinas Institute product, is expected to announce his retirement from a storybook career that saw him win an NCAA title at Boston College, a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils and represent the United States in two Winter Olympic Games.

In 16 National Hockey League seasons, the undersized forward netted 291 goals and 304 assists for 595 points.

He might be retiring, but he's not giving up hockey.

"Playing with my childhood team the Sabres was a highlight of my career", the western NY native said at a news conference Monday.

"I still wanted to be a part of the game and the organization", he said. "I'm fortunate that I'm walking away from the game into something even better, and that's being part of my kids growing up, coaching them and being there for them".

Gionta has agreed to a part-time job as a player development assistant with the Sabres.

Gionta spent three seasons with the Sabres (2014-17) and played for the United States at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He scored 595 points on 291 goals and 304 assists. In February, he signed with Boston, where he had two goals and seven assists in 21 games, including one in the playoffs. Gionta said after winning the Cup, he thought there'd be more, "It was a dream come true and not that you take it for granted, but it happened so early on that you wish you had cherished it a little more for what it was and how special it was because it's hard to do and now looking back and the chances we've had, conference finals and good teams that you've had that fell short, you realize how special it was to be able to win it".

Gionta was particularly grateful to current New York Islanders general manager Lou Lamoriello, who held the same role in New Jersey, when the Devils selected him in the third round of the 1998 draft out of Boston College.

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