Sabres report cards: Brian Gionta

Will the captain hang up his skates?

The season is over, and we’re going to rate every player who played more than 20 games this season on their performance the same way we were all graded back in the day - on a report card scale of A to F. We’re taking a look at everyone from Bailey to Rodrigues in our 2016-17 Buffalo Sabres Report Cards.

Age: 38

Contract: UFA (paid $3,250,000 last year, cap hit average $4,250,000)

Introduction: The Buffalo Sabres captain didn’t get traded to a team making a playoff run and chose to stay if reports are to be believed. Before Tim Murray lost his job as General Manager, he had talked about bringing Gionta back on a one-year deal.

The veteran played in every single game this season, a feat belying his age, and saw a slight point increase from last year, but still one of the worst seasons in his career.

Key Stat: Gionta had a Corsi of 45.07, one of the worst on the Sabres, one of the worst possession teams in the NHL. He also averaged 1:50 of shorthanded ice time per game, second only to Ryan O’Reilly.

Thumbs Up: The third line looked good at times with Gionta anchoring that trio, especially against top lines of other teams. He also marked his 1,000th game in the NHL this season.

Thumbs Down: At this point in the twilight of his career, he has very little left in the tank to give. We’ve heard plenty of talk about him being a high-character kind of leader in the locker room, so with Terry Pegula’s new focus on discipline and structure, it’s quite possible that we see Gionta back for another season.

Memorable Moment: With 15 goals scored this season there were some highlight-worthy moments, but nothing as special as scoring the game winner in that aforementioned 1,000th game.

Voting: Using the good old grade school system of A, B, C, D, F, with a grade of A representing a great season, a grade of C being the performance you expected, and F a very poor season, rate Brian Gionta on his performance this year.

Grade Brian Gionta on his 2016-17 season