Montreal Canadiens Player Profile: Brian Gionta

----- -----------Correspondent IJuly 10, 2009

NEWARK, NJ - APRIL 28: Brian Gionta #14 of the New Jersey Devils celebrates a goal by Brian Rolston #12 (not shown) against the Carolina Hurricanes during Game Seven of the Eastern Conference Semifinal Round of the 2009 Stanley Cup Playoffs at the Prudential Center on April 28, 2009 in Newark, New Jersey. The Hurricanes defetaed the Devils 4-3.  (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)

Note to the reader: This is the second of a series of articles reviewing the newly acquired players who have signed with the Montreal Canadiens

He goes by the name of "Gio." That's how the media in New Jersey call him, it is what his teammates call him and it's what I'm going to call him. 

That is the nickname of one Brian Gionta. Gionta, no stranger to the playoffs or success, has played thus far his entire career with the New Jersey Devils. Some 310 games into his career (plus an additional 50 in the postseason) made him a coveted asset to the Habs, specifically general manager Bob Gainey, who sought after Gionta days after he acquired his former teammate Scott Gomez through a trade.

Gionta was a member of the 2003 Stanley Cup championship team. Gionta, not know for his size but more for his fiery play, is officially listed at 5'7" inches. Literally one of the smallest players in the National Hockey League.

Before the free agent frenzy, Bob Gainey of the Canadiens released a statement declaring his intentions for a big first-line franchise player, similar to what Vincent Lecavalier is to the Lightning, or what Rick Nash is to the Columbus Blue Jackets.

Bob Gainey took a different step with Gionta, realizing the potential to rekindle that Stanley Cup chemistry that Gomez and Gionta had back in 2006. 

Gionta was the secret weapon of New Jersey. Ignoring his size, Gionta never allowed that to interfere with his point production. It's no surprise that both Gomez and Gionta enjoyed their best seasons playing alongside one another.

Gionta holds numerous records with the New Jersey Devils, including the franchise record for goals in a season which he set at 48.

To date, Brian Gionta has played 488 NHL games, all with the New Jersey Devils, for a total of 324 points, 157 of which where goals.

In 60 postseason appearances with the Devils, Gionta has 35 points, 17 of which were goals.

You can expect to see Gionta on a line with Gomez and Cammalleri, as those were the three biggest acquisitions this year for the Canadiens.