The 35-year-old attended training camp with the team and opted to stick around on an extended PTO after not initially getting a contract before the season began. A lower-body injury to center Casey Cizikas (who has been placed on injured reserve retroactive to Monday) opened up a spot for Gionta, who is expected to be in the lineup against Nashville.
Gionta did not see NHL action last season for the first time since 2009-10. He played in 30 games with their AHL affiliate in Bridgeport in 2017-18, collecting two goals and three assists. He’s just four games shy of 300 in his NHL career, split between the Devils and Islanders over parts of seven seasons.
Once Cizikas is activated off IR, it’s expected that Gionta will be placed on waivers where he’ll return to the Sound Tigers assuming he passes through unclaimed.