U.S. Olympic men’s hockey captain Brian Gionta will tune up for South Korea with his hometown Rochester Americans.
The American Hockey League team has signed Gionta to a one-game professional tryout contract, and he’s expected to play against Toronto on Friday. The 39-year-old has spent the past four months practicing with the Buffalo Sabres’ affiliate while training for the Pyeongchang Games, which open next week.
Gionta is a 16-season NHL veteran and spent the previous three years as the Sabres captain before his contract expired in July. Gionta turned down at least one contract offer from another NHL team to instead seek a spot at his second Olympics. He represented the U.S. in 2006 in Torino, Italy.
The NHL has barred players under contract with its teams from playing in the Olympics this year, including minor leaguers.