As first reported by Francois Gagnon of La Presse, it seems that Brian Gionta will be named the 28th captain of the Montreal Canadiens. His nomination to the post would make him only the second American to hold the title as Chris Chelios was the only other American to do so when he co-captained the squad with Guy Carbonneau in 1989.
This promotion settles the year long debate surrounding the captaincy, which was left vacant after Saku Koivu’s departure for Anaheim. As early as last summer, the Rochester native was considered a favorite for the role, although names such as Josh Gorges, Andrei Markov and Michael Cammalleri had also been thrown around.
The undersized Gionta endeared himself to fans with his scrappy play and knack for scoring goals. Although he missed significant 21 games last year, he still lead the club with 28 goals and added another 15 points during the team’s surprising playoff run. Previously, Gionta was captain of the Boston College Eagles and also served as an alternate with the Habs.
As of this writing, it is unknown when the news will be made official, although some reports claim the team will do so before their first exhibition game next week.