Gionta wants to return to Sabres but "it doesn't look likely right now."

Gionta wants to return to Sabres but "it doesn't look likely right now."
Posted at 5:43 PM, Jul 11, 2017

Brian Gionta still wants to play hockey.

But, as he continues to work out in Rochester, the former Sabres captain remains an unrestricted free agent.

The hope for the 38-year-old is to return to the team he cheered for growing up, and played for during the past three seasons.

“The hope is always there, but it doesn’t look likely right now and that’s for sure disappointing,” he told WHAM 13’s Toby Motyka Tuesday morning.

“At this point, I have to figure out what’s best for my wife and kids. I still know I can play, I still know I can contribute to a team,” he added.

Gionta, who began his NHL career in New Jersey and won a Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003, spent his first seven seasons in the Garden State before joining the Montreal Canadiens in 2009.

“It’s just a matter of finding a situation that’s right for the kids.  I’ve been doing it a long time and they’ve been sacrificing for a long time so I’m making the decision based around them at this point.”

After playing five years in Montreal, he signed with the Sabres to help the franchise’s rebuilding efforts.

If the Sabres aren’t in the future, Gionta is open to signing with another team.

“It’d have to be the right situation, the right fit but yeah, if something comes along that’s right I have to make sure the family is ok with things and we’ll go from there.”

The forward scored 15 goals during the 2016-2017 season, his most in four seasons.