Gionta, Whitney credit college coach
I spoke Monday night with New Jersey centerman Stephen Gionta and Tuesday morning with Abany left wing Joe Whitney, getting their thoughts on the career scoring records for the AHL franchise that are about ready to exchange hands from the former to the latter.
You can read about that in today’s article on Whitney and the busy week he’s had.
But something that didn’t make it into that article, just because it was getting far longer than I expected it to get, is still worth mention. When asking them about how both of them have proved it an unfair evaluation to look at a guy who’s 5-foot-7 or even 5-foot-6 and say they won’t find work in the NHL because they’re too small, both undrafted Boston College products pointed to their college coach Jerry York as the driving force behind their success. And they both have an obvious admiration for each other.
“I think it speaks volumes for what coach York does at BC, bringing guys along, and the type of players he brings in there,” Gionta said. “He breeds work ethic and determination. It’s great to see another BC guy get a chance at living his dream. It’s definitely awesome to see that. On top of that, he’s shorter in stature, but his compete level is unbelievable.”
“He [Gionta] came up the same way I did — four years at Boston College, and you learn from a great coach and mentor in Jerry York,” Whitney said. “We had that same guidance for four years. Then you turn pro and you just use the lessons you learned in school and work hard every day. He’s a pretty good guy to be linked to. It’s an honor to be linked to a guy who’s worked so hard and has finally made it, and not only made it but is sticking around and making a career.”