Just hours after acquiring Rick Nash in a blockbuster deal, the Bruins have brought in free agent forward Brian Gionta on a one-way contract through the remainder of the season. The 39-year-old forward most recently played for Team USA at the Pyeongchang Olympics, where he captained the team to the quarterfinals.
Bruins sign Brian Gionta to one-year, one-way contract through 2017-18 season worth $700,000: https://t.co/Ui8jBkESFW— Boston Bruins (@NHLBruins) February 25, 2018
Gionta last played in the NHL with the Buffalo Sabres during the 2016-2017 season, where he played in all 82 games and put up 15 goals and 35 points. He opted not to sign with an NHL team last summer and instead put all his focus on making Team USA.
It is likely that Gionta fills the 13th forward role, so unless someone gets hurt or an unforeseen trade takes place, I wouldn’t expect Gionta to jump right into the Bruins lineup any time soon. This is the cliche “depth move” that a lot of teams make during this time of year.
This move is a little odd, because there are several players in Providence who might be more useful to the Bruins than Gionta, such as Peter Cehlarik or Austin Czarnik. My guess is that the Bruins want to keep those guys in Providence where they will play every game, rather than sit out most nights with the big club.
Right now, it is unknown if Gionta will be in Buffalo for today’s 5 o’clock game against the Sabres.