Team USA hockey

Report: Veteran Brian Gionta, 39, drawing interest from Bruins

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AP Photo

Report: Veteran Brian Gionta, 39, drawing interest from Bruins

TORONTO – The Bruins are lining up their options at the NHL trade deadline and that includes backup plans in case things don’t go their way by late Monday afternoon. 

One of those might just be 40-year-old Jarome Iginla, who has been working out with the Providence Bruins this week. Another potentially remote possibility for the B’s is Brian Gionta coming off his stint with the US Olympic team in PyeongChang, according to a report from The Athletic’s Pierre Lebrun.

Gionta, 39, had 15 goals and 35 points for the Buffalo Sabres last season, then sat out the first half of this season in order to compete with Team USA at the Olympics. Gionta and the Americans fell short of a medal, of course, and the captain had a pretty quiet tournament with college kids Ryan Donato and Troy Terry leading the way for the USA.

Clearly, the Bruins have a need for an experienced, heavy player on the wing to augment the multitudes of youthful, smaller, skilled players that the Bruins have currently have on the wing outside of David Backes. But the 5-foot-7, 178-pound Gionta really doesn’t fit Boston’s current roster need outside of the experience factor given his 112 games of Stanley Cup playoff experience.

As with Iginla, Gionta would seem to be a remote possibility for the Bruins if they happen to strike out on all of their trade scenarios leading up to the Monday 3 p.m. deadline. A trade for a big, heavy top-six winger like Edmonton's Patrick Maroon or Vancouver's Thomas Vanek would be much more meaningful roster improvements for the Bruins. 

Other than as a Plan B or Plan C, Gionta doesn’t make a lot of sense as an upgrade over what the Bruins currently have and really didn’t show much in the Olympic tournament to indicate there’s a ton left in the gas tank.

There certainly would be an interesting full circle element to Gionta’s career if he were to end up with the Bruins after starring at Boston College prior to the NHL. Still, the feeling from this humble hockey writer is that the B’s could do a lot better than that when it comes to augmenting their roster ahead of what the organization hopes will be a long playoff run in Boston.

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Morning Skate: Golden night for Team USA

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Morning Skate: Golden night for Team USA

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while glad it was finally a gold-medal experience for the USA women in Olympic hockey.  

*As mentioned above, late in the American night, Team USA women’s hockey defeated their Canadian arch-rivals in the shootout and clinched their first gold in 20 years. What an exciting game and a great lesson in resiliency from the USA ladies.

*Speaking of the Olympics, it looks like some Maple Leafs players lost a bet with coach Mike Babcock and had to bust out their Team Canada gear at practice as a result.

*Former Boston College standout Nate Gerbe has resurfaced in the NHL with the Columbus Blue Jackets after working to get back to this level.

*It’s not looking great for the Chicago Blackhawks' Corey Crawford to return this season as he continues to deal with mysterious symptoms that certainly sound like they’re concussion-related.  

*New York Rangers defenseman Marc Staal can’t wait for the trade deadline to be over and done with as some of his teammates are being prominently mentioned.

*Speaking of the Rangers, both Rick Nash and Ryan McDonagh are taking it like pros as their names are being mentioned everywhere as trade possibilities. The Bruins remain in discussions on both players, but it’s going to be at the price Don Sweeney wants to pay or not at all. Pierre LeBrun also tweeted that the Rangers' price needs to drop on McDonagh for the Bruins to get really interested. 

*A good piece on former Bruins energy forward Craig Cunningham and his life after hockey following last year’s scary cardiac arrest incident that obviously changed his life forever.

*For something completely different: The chances are pretty good something is high quality if Jesse Plemons is in it given his recent body of work, so “Game Night” might be worth seeing.

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Morning Skate: Team USA's medal dreams dashed

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USA TODAY Sports photo

Morning Skate: Team USA's medal dreams dashed

Here are all the links from around the hockey world, and what I’m reading, while disappointed at the whimper that Team USA went out with during a shootout loss to the Czech Republic.

*Here’s the aforementioned rundown on the Team USA loss just ahead of the medal round with the Americans going 0-for-5 in the shootout after battling to a 2-2 tie. Team USA had their chances and Ryan Donato scored another goal, but it’s clear they weren’t one of the more talented teams in the tournament with no current NHL representation.

*Marc Savard is back with another one of his DIY stick-taping videos where, this time, you can learn how to do a candy cane-style tape job just like Phil Kessel on your hockey stick.

*Down Goes Brown has the most annoying things that NHL GMs will say or do around the NHL trade deadline.

*Brad Treliving insists that it was just a coincidence that the Flames’ trip to Las Vegas coincided with the players’ mothers visiting for a road trip.

*Ryan Suter might be getting up there in terms of age and games played, but he is still every bit the workhorse he’s always been while in Minnesota.

*Braden Holtby is going through a tough stretch for the Washington Capitals as the losses are stringing together against him.

*For something completely different: MC Hammer has still got it after all these years.

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