Rochester Americans General Manager Randy Sexton announced today that the team has signed Brian Gionta to a one-game Professional Tryout. Gionta is expected to be in the lineup on Friday, Feb. 2 when the Amerks resume their 2017-18 regular season schedule following the AHL All-Star break against the Toronto Marlies at The Blue Cross Arena.
"Brian has been practicing with us on a regular basis since early in the season,” said Sexton. “These practices were part of his preparation for the Olympics and, given the Olympics are just around the corner, a game was the final tune-up for him to get ready to captain the U.S. Olympic team. The entire Buffalo Sabres organization wishes Brian all the very best in his pursuit of a gold medal.”
The 39-year-old Rochester native has practiced with the Amerks since October in preparation for the upcoming 2018 Winter Olympic Games, which are set to begin Friday, Feb. 9 in Pyeongchang, South Korea.
Gionta, who will serve as captain of the U.S. national team, has appeared in 1,006 National Hockey League games with the Buffalo Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils over a 16-year professional career in which he has recorded 588 points (289+299) and 375 penalty minutes. Gionta has also compiled 68 points (32+36) over 112 career playoff appearances and was a member of the 2003 Stanley Cup-winning Devils.
Gionta has served as team captain in each of his last seven seasons, including the previous three in Buffalo. He totaled 103 points (40+63) in 230 career games with the Sabres from 2014-17, appearing in his 1,000th NHL game during the 2016-17 campaign.
The Amerks are hosting “Hometown Heroes Night,” presented by Advantage Federal Credit Union, on Friday. The team will honor all first responders such as police officers, fire fighters, and emergency medical technicians, as well as military members and veterans. Prior to the Amerks-Marlies matchup that night, the Rochester Police Department will face-off against members of the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Jail Bureau in an exhibition hockey game starting at 4:00 p.m.
As part of the night, the Amerks are offering all Hometown Heroes and military personnel one complimentary ticket to their game against the Marlies with additional tickets for family and friends available for as low as just $12. Those interested in taking advantage of the offer can do so by visiting www.amerks.com/heroes.
The Amerks will donate $2 for every ticket sold through www.amerks.com/heroes to the Monroe County Sheriff’s Office Association of Retirees (SOAR), courtesy of Advantage Federal Credit Union.
Individual game tickets for the 2017-18 season start at just $14. Amerks Season Ticket Memberships, which start as low as just $12 per game, are on-sale now. The Amerks are also offering a variety of partial plans, including Half-Season Memberships and Flex Season Memberships with vouchers good for best available seating to any home game. All memberships are up to 40% off Box Office day of game pricing. For more information, visit www.amerks.com or call 1-855-GO-AMERKS.