New York Islanders Need To Stay Away From Stephen Gionta
Robert Mayer, USATSI

The New York Islanders have a history of signing former New Jersey Devils players. Stephen Gionta shouldn’t be next.

Let’s call it an infatuation.

Every single offseason, the Islanders seem to ink a former Devils skater to a deal. The team has done it with Brian Rolston, Jay Pandolfo, Steve Bernier and Marek Zidlicky.

So, it should come as no surprise that the Isles are looking at bringing in another ex-Devs player — Stephen Gionta — on a PTO. If that indeed happens, then it’s likely that the organization will sign him to a one-year deal for the league minimum.

In other words, Gionta will become the next ancient Devils player turned public enemy number one.

Now, I’ve never been one to judge a move before the players adorn their new team’s uniforms.

However, based on past trends and Gionta’s inability to bury the puck in the back of the net, it seems like the 31-year-old is destined to draw the ire of the Isles’ fanbase.

That might not mean much, as Jack Capuano constantly places the players fans despise on the ice.

Also, it could mean another Steve Bernier (i.e. a player who skates around the ice contributing absolutely nothing) roaming the Barclays Center.

The problems with Sabres captain Brian Gianta’s little brother crossing the Verrazano Bridge are twofold: he’s undersized, and he scored one goal in 82 games last season.

Even at the league minimum, that’s not a very promising mark.

Now, it should be noted that Gionta can kill penalties. It would be cruel to take that away from him.

However, he does absolutely zilch in every other asset of the game. While there’s no risk involved in signing him, there’s not much reward either.

Beware, Garth Snow: stay away from Stephen Gionta.

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Justin Weiss is a staff editor at Elite Sports New York, where he covers the New York Islanders and Brooklyn Cyclones. In 2016, he received a Quill Award for Freelance Journalism. He has written for the Long Island Herald, FanSided and YardBarker.