Kukla's Korner Hockey
by The Upper Canadien on 09/29/10 at 12:05 PM ET
Brian Gionta is the 28th captain of your Montreal Canadiens, becoming the second American captain in the team’s 101 year history. Chris Chelios, who co-captained the team in 1989, was the first.
Hal Gill and Andrei Markov will remain assistant captains.
That so many names were bandied about by the media is a sign of the leadership and experience in the locker room. But any way you look at it, Gionta is a great choice.
A nine year veteran, Gionta brings Stanley Cup winning experience from his days with the New Jersey Devils. His offensive talents are only usurped by his commitment to every play and his willingness to sacrifice his body for the team. He is expected to line up beside Scott Gomez to start the season, with Benoit Pouliot playing left wing on a line the Canadiens are counting on for offence.
The Habs had been without a captain since Saku Koivu left as a free agent in July, 2009. Others mentioned as candidates, other than Gill and Markov, included Mike Cammalleri, Josh Gorges and Scott Gomez.
Gionta will do a great job. I had mentioned previously that I liked Gorges’ grit and tenacity, but Gionta has won a Stanley Cup and that gives him the edge as a leader in the NHL. He will be looked to for guidance as the Canadiens play under heavy expectations after last season’s memorably playoff run. And for those wondering, yes, he has started learning French.
Bonne chance, Brian.
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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.
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