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Iserlohn inks another NHLer
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Januar 3, 2005; 20:39
Iserlohn inks another NHLer
Devils' Stanley Cup winner Brian Gionta joins forces with Mike York and JM Liles
Frank Johne

Mike York of the Edmonton Oilers currently plays in Iserlohn, West Germany
 
Mike York: NHL support is on the way

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Munich, Germany - Less than a week after inking Colorado's defensive prospect John-Michael Liles, the Iserlohn Roosters of the Deutsche Eishockey Liga (DEL) signed another talented young NHL player to a provisional lockout contract: Right winger Brian Gionta of the New Jersey Devils will join forces with Mike York&Co as the underdog team continues its pursuit of its first-ever playoff berth.
 

Brian Gionta who won the Stanley Cup with the Devils in 2003, has signed a lockout deal in the German Elite League
Brian Gionta impressed Iserlohn's scouts at the Deutschland Cup in November
Leading DEL Scorers
(as of Feb 19, 2005)

Like Liles, Gionta will only be cleared to play in the German Elite League though if the whole NHL season is called off after the January 14 meeting between the league and the players' union.

Iserlohn initiated contact in November when Gionta was a teammate of Mike York's on Team USA's entry at the five-nations Deutschland Cup tournament in Hanover.

The 25-year-old speedy right winger, who was born in Rochester, NY, saw action in 75 games for the New Jersey Devils last season, tallying a career-high 29 points (21 goals, 8 assists). He won the Stanley Cup in his second pro season in 2003.

At 5'7", 175lbs, Gionta brings a lot of feistiness and energy into play. His skating skills will help a lot in the more wide-open style of hockey played on the Olympic-size DEL rinks.

Before being drafted by the Devils 82nd overall in the third round of the 1998 NHL Entry Draft, Gionta had a successful career at Boston College (NCAA). He earned first-team All-America honors in his last three years and was named Hockey East Player of the Year in his senior year (2000-01). Gionta tallied a total of 232 points (123 goals, 109 assists) in 164 career games at College level. He split the 2001-02 season between the Devils and the AHL's Albany River Rats.

Gionta's signing brings the number of NHL lockout players in Germany to 16. In addition to the 15 players that have signed contracts in the German Elite League (DEL; see list below), F Kent McDonell (Columbus Blue Jackets) plays for the EV Duisburg Füchse in Germany's Division-2.

Adler Mannheim: D Sven Butenschön (New York Islanders), F Jochen Hecht (Buffalo Sabres), G Cristobal Huet (Montreal Canadiens)

Eisbären Berlin: F Eric Cole (Carolina Hurricanes)

Frankfurt Lions: D Stephane Robidas (Chicago Blackhawks)

ERC Ingolstadt: F Andy McDonald (Mighty Ducks of Anaheim), F Marco Sturm (San Jose Sharks)

Iserlohn Roosters: F Mike York (Edmonton Oilers), D John-Michael Liles (Colorado Avalanche), F Brian Gionta (New Jersey Devils)

Hamburg Freezers: F Jim Dowd (Montreal Canadiens; status unclear: returned home to the USA for personal reasons in December)

Hannover Scorpions: D Paul Mara (Phoenix Coyotes)

Kassel Huskies: D Nick Schultz (Minnesota Wild)

Krefeld Pinguine: D Tom Preissing (San Jose Sharks)

Nürnberg Ice Tigers: D Lubomir Sekeras (Dallas Stars)
Frank Johne

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