Brian Gionta is excited to be playing with his hometown team, despite the Buffalo Sabres having the worst record in the NHL last season. Gionta grew up in Greece, NY and was a Sabres fan growing up.
“I think there’s a lot of excitement,” Gionta said. “You bring in a couple guys via either free agency or trade and I think the excitement level has just gotten a lot bigger. You can see it the last day-and-a-half; guys are excited, guys want to be here and guys want to play for the Sabres. That’s the first step.”
Coming home was a definite factor in his decision, in addition to being able to help rebuild the team he grew up following. “We’re confident that we can come here and be a part of something big and that our expectation is to come here and field a winning team,” Gionta said. “I think we’re putting the pieces in place and we’re excited to be a part of that. This was my childhood team growing up and it’s a dream to play for them and put on the jersey. I can’t wait ’til September comes. We’re really excited and we appreciate the opportunity to come here and play.”
Players are seeing the direction the Sabres are headed and are excited about the future of the franchise. General manager Tim Murray agrees. Since being hired in January, Murray’s approach has been to make Buffalo a place that players want to pursue.
“I think it says something that we were as busy as anybody,” Murray said. “That we were able to attract players of this caliber to want to come here whether it’s for different reasons like I said going into this.”
It is an exciting time for the Sabres and fans and players alike are excited to see what will happen once the season begins.