BUFFALO, N.Y. (WIVB) – Buffalo Sabres General Manager Tim Murray made it clear prior to free agency that he wanted to add some strong leaders to a very young team roster and it appears that he accomplished his mission.
Forward Brian Gionta is among the veterans he signed on Tuesday when the free agency period began. Gionta is a Rochester native who most recently served as a captain for the Montreal Canadians. On Wednesday he addressed the Buffalo media, discussing his expected role as a leader for the Sabres.
“How I have always gone about my career in doing things is I try to lead by example,” Gionta explained. “I go about my business and try to be a good influence on and off the ice. By no means am I going to come here and work miracles.”
The 35-year-old Sabre is more than just a leader, he is a good hockey player. Last year in the regular season, Gionta tallied 18 goals and 22 assists.
While he recognizes the Sabres are in a transition stage, he told the media on Wednesday that from his point of view the team is headed in the right direction.
“I think there is a lot of excitement,” said Gionta. “You bring in a couple of guys via free agency or trade and I think that the excitement level has gotten a lot bigger and you can see it obviously the last day and a half. Guys are excited. Guys want be here and guys want to play for the Sabres and that is the first step.”
In addition to Gionta, Matt Moulson, Cody McCormick, Andrej Meszaros, Josh Gorges and Marcus Foligno are among the players that the Sabres signed or traded for on Tuesday.