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Gionta practices with the Amerks

Brian Gionta (WHAM photo)

Brian Gionta has come home. The Greece native and former Sabres captain put on an Amerks sweater Tuesday.

He said that he’s not sure of any other situation quite like this one – and Coach Chris Taylor agreed, calling this a win-win for both sides.

Blue Cross Arena employees came out to catch a glimpse of Gionta in his baby blue practice jersey, wearing number 21 with the Amerks logo for the first time since Juniors more than 25 years ago.

The NHL vet of more than 1,000 games looked like he had plenty left in the tank during practice Tuesday.

The 38-year-old is still a free agent, and a prime candidate for the U.S. Olympic team. Playing for the Amerks wouldn’t affect his status for the upcoming winter games, but for now, he’s only practicing with Rochester – and he says to not expect him with the team on game day anytime soon.

He added this goes beyond not playing games. He won’t be with the team on game day so as not to be a distraction or interrupt the ritual of game days.

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