A little unexpected news broke earlier this afternoon that could lessen the sting that is the Devils offensive slump. The team announced the signing of forward Stephen Gionta to an AHL contract. Even though he had signed a one way NHL deal just before the start of free agency, he was eligible to sign with Albany due to being on the team’s Clear Day roster last season (which is how Matt Corrente is still able to play). He returns to add to his total as the franchise’s all time leading scorer (135 points) and games played (360). He may make his season debut as early as Saturday afternoon at home against the Sound Tigers.
The next question is, will he also retain the captaincy, a title he had held for four out of the last five seasons here and in Lowell, but currently held by Jay Leach? I had noticed over the weekend no one else had claimed Adam Henrique’s assistant captain role with him out due to injury, so one begins to wonder. I may find out tomorrow night when the Booster Club holds the annual holiday party with the team. Normally at the end of the night the captain goes to the mike and thanks the club members on behalf of the team. We’ll have to see who gets up to make that speech.
And as far as uniform number? Just announced by the Albany PR Twitter, he will wear #22, which is currently assigned to J.S. Berube. Bobby Butler currently wears #11, Gionta’s number here and in New Jersey (so they couldn’t make a deal or something?).