Canadiens forward Brian Gionta (centre) becomes the 28th player in franchise history to wear the “C” on his sweater. With him are defencemen Andrei Markov on the left and Hal Gill on the right, as his assistant captains for this season. Peter McCabe, The Gazette
After going an entire season without a captain, the Canadiens announced on Wednesday that Brian Gionta will become the 28th player in franchise history to wear the “C” on his sweater,succeeding Saku Koivu, who assumed that role from 1999 to 2009.
Gionta, who was one of three assistants named at the start of the 2009-10 season, will have defencemen Andrei Markov and Hal Gill as his assistant captains. The 31-year-old Gionta is entering his ninth season NHL season and his second with the Canadiens. Signed as a free agent on July 1, 2009, Gionta made his presence felt in his first season with the Canadiens, leading the team with 28 goals, including a team high 10 power-play goals. Gionta also recorded three game-winning tallies and posted a team-high 237 shots on goal.
• This was fast: NHL.com has a promotional video up
• Elliotte Friedman’s great Inside Hockey piece on Gionta:
Props to La Presse’s François Gagnon for reporting this two weeks ago.
reasons best known to the Canadiens, they anointed their new Captain on
Twitter, in lieue of a formal announcement at the Bell Centre.
The Gionta File:
• Full name is Brian Joseph Gionta
• Captained Boston College to a NCAA championship in 2000-’01
• Second American to captain the Canadiens. Chris Chelios was co-captain (with Guy Carbonneau) in 1989-’90
• Second free-agent acquisition to captain the team (Mike Keane was the first)
• Gionta becomes the third 5’7″ Captain in Canadiens’ history. Previous mighty mites: Yvan Cournoyer and Henri Richard
• Pierre LeBrun on Gionta