Gionta to skate with Amerks in Olympic tune-up

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The Rochester Americans announced Monday that the team has signed 2018 United States Olympic team captain Brian Gionta to a professional tryout contract.

Gionta is expected to be in the lineup on Friday when the Amerks host the Toronto Marlies at the Blue Cross Arena.

“Brian has been practicing with us on a regular basis since early in the season,” said Amerks general manager Randy 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 next week in PyeongChang, South Korea.

Gionta 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 goals, 299 assists). Gionta has also compiled 68 points (32 goals, 36 assists) in 112 career playoff appearances and won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003.

Gionta’s appearance on Friday will be his first in the AHL since Apr. 17, 2005, with the Albany River Rats. He has 14 goals and 23 assists in 52 career AHL games.