Share This: |
Photo courtesy of @buffalosabres

Sabres Gionta won't feel pressure

Buffalo, NY (WGR 550)  -- Brian Gionta was introduced by the Sabres on Wednesday as he pulled on his new number 12 sweater. Gionta wore 14 in New Jersey and 21 in Montreal.  Gionta had other offers, but coming home to Western New York appealed to him in many ways, “We like the direction that Mr. Murray’s going with the team and we’re confident that we can come here and be a part of something big. Our expectation is to come here and field a winning team and I think we’re putting the pieces in place and we’re excited to be a part of that.” Gionta added, “We have a lot of ties to Western New York and this was my childhood team growing up and it’s a dream to play for them and put on the jersey and I can’t wait for September to come.”
Many folks have said to me that Gionta will be under pressure coming back to Western New York to try to help a bad team turn things around. I can’t imagine too much more pressure than being the captain of the Montreal Canadiens, especially if you’re American so he said he’ll be fine, “No, there’s always pressure, but pressure’s a good thing it pushes you to succeed. I’m at the point in my career now where I’m not trying to appease every friend and family member. I’ve been in the league a long time and the distraction of being close to home I think at this stage in my career that it won’t be there.”
When Tim Murray got a chance to sit down Tuesday night it was almost like a reload for him and his staff. Going into free agency Murray had talked about Steve Ott. The former Sabres captain still hadn’t signed anywhere well into day two and Murray said, “I don’t know if he’s a possibility, we’re working on some things here. I talked to his agent last night after I talked to you guys and explained to him that with what we did, it may make it more difficult, but what we may do today could make it easier, so in saying that, I said there’s still interest, but I can’t certainly tell you not to pursue other things and I assume that’s what they’re doing.”
Another thing Murray’s doing is turning his attention to the Amerks. The GM said, “If we can get a couple of guys for Rochester then we’ll be set there, we’ve got to work on our coaching staff here and then whatever other surprise comes, and that certainly won’t be me. If somebody likes somebody on our team then we’d talk, but I’d expect we’d do a couple of things for Roch today and tomorrow.”
Tyler Myers going to Detroit is something many bring up. Murray on the other hand expects him to be on this team, “Yes I do, I expect him, I expect Marcus, I expect Ennis, I expect Hodgson, I expect them all to be on the team, but that’s the nature of the game with good, young players, other teams want them, so they call and ask and you listen. You listen only because they may do something crazy.” Why is Myers the name brought up the most? Murray said, “Teams call because of the type of player he is. Marcus Foligno’s the same thing. I don’t call anybody on those young guys, so we don’t make the calls on those guys, we’re not looking to trade them, but in saying that when you get a call, you listen and you either say, ‘He’s crazy or he’s willing to over pay’.”

What should Tim Murray's top priority be right now?
  Add another winger
  Add another defenseman
  Add another goalie to compete with Robin Lehner
View Results