Brian Gionta spent three seasons with the Sabres. ©2019, Hickling Images

Former Sabres captain Brian Gionta elected to U.S. Hockey Hall of Fame

Former Buffalo Sabres captain Brian Gionta has been elected to the United States Hockey Hall of Fame, USA Hockey announced today.

Gionta, 40, is one of the most decorated American players ever, having won a Stanley Cup, a national championship, captained two NHL teams, an Olympic team and played 1,026 big league games.

The Greece native represented the U.S. in nine international tournaments, including two Olympics. He captained Team USA at the 2018 Pyeongchang Olympics.

Following a prolific career at Boston College, Gionta broke into the NHL with the New Jersey Devils in 2001 and won the Cup with them in 2003. The 48 goals the diminutive winger scored in 2005-06 still stand as the franchise record.

Gionta, who was listed 5-foot-7, helped open the door for other undersized players.

After serving as the Montreal Canadiens’ captain, Gionta signed with the Sabres in 2014 and played three seasons in Buffalo before finishing his career with the Boston Bruins in 2018.

Gionta compiled 291 goals and 595 points in his 16-year NHL career.

In addition to Gionta, NHL commissioner Gary Bettman, Neal Henderson, Tim Thomas and Krissy Wendell will be inducted Dec. 12 in Washington.

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