Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Consistency Key to Career Season for Gibbons

Newspaper article The Record (Bergen County, NJ)

Consistency Key to Career Season for Gibbons

Article excerpt

GLENDALE, Ariz. – There's no wild story as to how Brian Gibbons wound up in the Devils' organization. Really, it was his only option.

"They were the only place I could try out," said Gibbons of searching for a new organization in the summer of 2016 after one season in the Rangers' system. "I started as a tryout for AHL camp and then, toward the end of summer, I got invited to Jersey's camp. I didn't have any interest from anybody, really, so it was the easy decision. But it's worked out good."

Perhaps better than anybody, Gibbons included, could have envisioned.

The 29-year-old Gibbons, who had not played in the NHL since a 25-game stint with the Blue Jackets in 2014-15, entered Saturday night's game against the Coyotes at Gila River Arena leading the Devils with 11 goals. Remarkably, his scoreless outing in Friday night's 2-1 win at Colorado marked just the second time this season he's been held without a point in two straight games.

Gibbons entered this season with five career goals in 66 games for the Penguins and Blue Jackets. Current Devils general manager Ray Shero was the Penguins GM when that organization signed Gibbons as an undrafted free agent out of Boston College in 2011.

Shero and Devils coach John Hynes, Gibbons' coach with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton (AHL), threw Gibbons a professional lifeline prior to 2016-17.

"It stinks going through the summer and not having a job or not knowing what you're going to do, especially the later in the summer it gets and you don't know," Gibbons said. "It's just a waiting game. You can go to the gym and skate every day but you don't know where you're going to be or what's going to happen. It stinks."

The 5-foot-8, 175-pound wing responded with a strong season for the Devils' AHL affiliate, then situated in Albany, N.Y. with 16 goals and 20 assists in 72 assists.

Still, most roster predictions had Gibbons starting this season with Binghamton (AHL). But Gibbons had an impressive training camp and has maintained that level through the first two months of the regular season. …

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