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Gionta puts on his new Sabres sweater, then picks up some gear for the kids

By John Vogl

Shortly after Brian Gionta slipped on his Sabres jersey for the first time, Buffalo's new No. 12 wandered over to the Sabres Store. He needed to pick up gear for his three kids, ages 9, 6 and 2.

Gionta knew what they would like because he was a young Sabres fan once.

The Rochester native is as close to home as he's going to get, and he was happy to be formally welcomed to town today in First Niagara Center.

"This was my childhood team growing up, and it’s a dream to play for them and put on the jersey," Gionta said. "I can’t wait till September comes."

The 35-year-old was the key part of Buffalo's free agent frenzy Monday. The Sabres signed five veterans to lead the rebuild.

"By no means am I going to come here and work miracles," Gionta said, "but I just try to be a presence and be somebody for the young guys coming along, being around and having some experience in the league that they can be a sounding board."

Sabres General Manager Tim Murray is spending today reshuffling NHL depth charts after players moved often during the opening day of free agency. He's looking at signing a couple of players for the Rochester Americans in the next two days or so. Then he'll work with Ted Nolan to find assistant coaches.

"Whatever other surprises comes, comes," Murray said. "That certainly won’t be me. It’ll be if somebody likes someone on our team or something like that."

Tim Murray and Brian Gionta

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John Vogl

John Vogl

John Vogl has been covering the Sabres since 2002-03, an era that has included playoff runs, last-place finishes and three ownership changes. The award-winning writer is the Buffalo chapter chairman for the Professional Hockey Writers’ Association.

@BuffNewsVogl |

About Sabres Edge

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington

Mike Harrington, a Canisius College graduate who began his career as a News reporter in 1987, has been covering the Buffalo Sabres since 2007. He is a member of the Professional Hockey Writers' Association and can vouch that exposed flesh freezes instantly when walking in downtown Winnipeg in January.

@BNHarrington |

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz

Amy Moritz, a native of Lockport, has a bachelor’s degree in journalism/mass communication from St. Bonaventure University and a master’s degree in humanities from the University at Buffalo. An endurance athlete, she has completed several triathlons, half marathons and marathons.

@amymoritz |