Brian Gionta accomplished a lot in his hockey career: Two trips to the Olympics, becoming the team captain for the Sabres and Canadiens and logging more than 1,000 games at the highest level.
"I never thought it would have lasted as long as it did", Gionta said.
Gionta is from nearby Rochester, New York, and has made his home in Buffalo since spending the 2014-15 to 2016-17 seasons with the Sabres.
Gionta's career highlights include winning the Staney Cup in 2003 with the New Jersey Devils.
With his playing career over, Gionta said he's taking a role within the Sabres organization.
The role as father and part-time coach isn't unfamiliar to Gionta after he got a taste of it past year. He scored 595 points on 291 goals and 304 assists.
Gionta can't believe what things turned in to for the kid from Rochester, New York, "I went into it hoping I could play one National Hockey League game and then from there it was play as long as you could and as long as you were having fun and your body would hold up, I would've never have thought that it lasted as long as it did, but I'm supper appreciative of the people that supported me and gave me a chance". In February, he signed with Boston, where he had two goals and seven assists in 21 games, including one in the playoffs. He ranks 38th among American-born players in games played, and 41st in points.
Post-Olympics, Gionta signed with the Bruins, returning to the city of his college days, another dream come true.
And then there was the opportunity to play for the Sabres, the team he grew up following, and end his career in Boston, where he played college.