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Gionta signed by Bruins

39-year-old forward will be eligible for playoffs


Brian Gionta signed a one-year contract with the Boston Bruins on Sunday, making him eligible to participate in the 2018 Stanley Cup Playoffs.

The 39-year-old forward signed for $700,000.

Gionta had not been playing in the NHL this season, but did serve as captain for the United States men's hockey team at the 2018 PyeongChang Olympics. He played in all five games for the United States, which was eliminated by the Czech Republic in the quarterfinals.

Video: Discussing the Bruins decision to sign Brian Gionta

Boston, which lost to Buffalo on Sunday, made a major trade earlier in the day, obtaining veteran forward Rick Nash from the New York Rangers for a package that included forward Ryan Spooner, minor-league forward Matt Beleskey, prospect defenseman Ryan Lindgren and Boston's first- and seventh-round pick in the 2018 NHL Draft.

The Bruins (37-14-8, 72 points) are third in the Atlantic Division, one point behind the second-place Toronto Maple Leafs (39-20-5) and five points behind the first-place Tampa Bay Lightning (42-17-3). Boston has five games in hand on the Maple Leafs and three on the Lightning. The Bruins have a 20-point lead on the fourth-place Florida Panthers.

Gionta last played in the NHL in 2016-17 with the Buffalo Sabres, when he had 35 points (15 goals, 20 assists) in 82 games. He has 588 points (289 goals, 299 assists) in 1,006 regular-season games in 15 seasons with the Sabres, Montreal Canadiens and New Jersey Devils. He has 68 points (32 goals, 36 assists) in 112 Stanley Cup Playoff games.

He was selected by the Devils in the third round (No. 82) of the 1998 NHL Draft.

The Bruins also signed defenseman Chris Breen to a one-year, two-way contract through the 2017-18 season worth $650,000 at the NHL level. He was placed on waivers for the purpose of assignment to Providence of the American Hockey League.

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