Forward Brian Gionta said he hopes to remain with the Buffalo Sabres beyond the NHL Trade Deadline on March 1, the Buffalo News reported Tuesday.
Gionta, 38, is in the final season of a three-year contract he signed July 1, 2014. The Sabres captain has an NHL salary-cap charge of $4.25 million, according to capfriendly.com, and can become an unrestricted free agent July 1.
"The team understands our intentions," Gionta told the newspaper. "Absolutely I want to stay. I've been here three years. I'd love to see this through and keep pushing in the right direction."
The Sabres have seven games remaining before the deadline, including at the Ottawa Senators on Tuesday (7:30 p.m. ET; TSN5, RDS, MSG-B, NHL.TV). They enter the week five points behind the Toronto Maple Leafs for the final wild card into the Stanley Cup Playoffs in the Eastern Conference.
Gionta has 12 goals and 27 points in 56 games this season. In three seasons with the Sabres, he has 37 goals and 95 points in 204 games. He was named captain Oct. 7, 2014.