Former Canadiens captain Yvan Cournoyer says the Habs shouldn’t rush into naming a new captain to replace Brian Gionta.
“Maybe it’s too rushed to have a captain named before the season,” Cournoyer told The Gazette’s Dave Stubbs on the weekend. “Maybe they can wait a little bit and once the season starts and the guys are together a little, they can talk among themselves and say: ‘This guy can do the job.’ ”
The 70-year-old Cournoyer, who hoisted the Stanley Cup four times as Canadiens captain between 1975 and 1979, added that it’s hard for him to say who on the current Habs roster has the potential to be captain. But he did say the captain should be decided by the players, not a management appointment.
“I’m not with them, I don’t know what they can do,” Cournoyer told Stubbs about who could wear the C next. “A captain is not just something on the ice. Most of the time, it’s what he’s good at off the ice. It’s to bring the guys together.”
And Cournoyer doesn’t think it would be a good idea for two players to share the captaincy, as was the case with Guy Carbonneau and Chris Chelios during the 1989-90 season.
“That’s not the way to go,” Cournoyer, who won a total of 10 Stanley Cups with the Habs, told Stubbs.
“Is the captain very, very, very important today, compared to what he once was? I don’t know,” he added. “Maybe it doesn’t have the same sense as in the days of Maurice (Richard) and Jean (Beliveau) and Henri (Richard).
“Captains are traded now or they choose to go elsewhere. We’d change a few guys from one season to another but today, even if you win, you’re going to change the team with the salary cap and free agency.”
Max Pacioretty was on TSN Radio 690 Monday and said he has had discussions with P.K. Subban about the vacant captaincy and that both players were ready to fill the void left by Gionta’s departure to Buffalo.
“We briefly touched upon being leaders and wearing letters potentially on this team, but at the end of the day everybody on the team wants what’s best for the team and if people feel like me or PK or someone else would be a good candidate for the captain then I’m 100 per cent on board with whatever decision is made,” Pacioretty told the radio station.
(Photo by Richard Wolowicz/Getty Images)