AP source: Brian Gionta set to retire after 16 NHL seasons

In this Nov. 22, 2014, file photo, Buffalo Sabres right wing Brian Gionta (12) plays against the Washington Capitals during the second period of an NHL hockey game in Washington. A person with direct knowledge of forward Brian Gionta’s decision tells The Associated Press the former Montreal Canadiens and Buffalo Sabres captain, and two-time United States Olympian will announce he's retiring after 16 NHL seasons. The person spoke to The AP on the condition of anonymity Monday, Sept. 24, 2018, because Gionta hasn't publicly revealed what he plans to announce during a news conference scheduled for later in the day at the Sabres downtown arena. (AP Photo/Alex Brandon, File)

By JOHN WAWROW, AP Hockey Writer

BUFFALO, N.Y. (AP) — Forward Brian Gionta is retiring at age 39 after 16 NHL seasons, a person with direct knowledge of the decision told The Associated Press.

The person spoke on condition of anonymity because Gionta hasn’t disclosed what he plans to announce during a news conference Monday at the Buffalo Sabres’ arena.

Gionta is a former Montreal Canadiens and Sabres captain and two-time U.S. Olympian. He won a Stanley Cup with the New Jersey Devils in 2003. At 5-foot-7, Gionta overcame questions about his size to play various roles while establishing his reputation as a leader.

Gionta is in discussions with the Sabres about a part-time off-ice role that would allow him to spend more time with his family, the person added. Gionta is from nearby Rochester, New York, and makes his home in Buffalo.

He spent most of last season out of the NHL while preparing to play at the Pyeongchang Games. He then signed with Boston, where he had two goals and seven assists in 21 games, including one in the playoffs. Gionta had 291 goals and 595 points in 1,026 career games.

Gionta was selected by the Devils in the third-round of the 1998 NHL draft out of Boston College and broke into the NHL three years later. He topped 20 goals seven times, including a career-best 48 with New Jersey in 2005-06.

Gionta spent his first seven seasons with the Devils before signing with Montreal as a free agent in July 2009. He left Montreal in the summer of 2014 to sign with Buffalo, where he spent three seasons as captain.


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