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Report: Gionta to be next Montreal captain

Thursday, 09.16.2010 / 9:26 AM / 2010 Offseason News

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Report: Gionta to be next Montreal captain
Report: Brian Gionta to be next Montreal Canadiens captain.
According to a newspaper report, Brian Gionta will be named captain of the Montreal Canadiens during training camp.

La Presse reported Thursday that Gionta will be confirmed as the team's 28th captain during the Habs' training camp, which opens Thursday with an annual golf tournament.

If he is indeed given the captaincy, the Rochester, N.Y., native will become just the second U.S.-born captain in the team's 101-year history. Recently retired Chris Chelios, a Chicago native, was co-captain with Guy Carbonneau during the 1989-90 season.

The Canadiens were without a captain last season after the departure of previous captain Saku Koivu in the summer of 2009. Koivu, who was captain for a decade, signed a free-agent deal with the Anaheim Ducks.

That summer was the same one Gionta joined the franchise, signing a five-year deal as a free agent from the New Jersey Devils. In his first season with the Canadiens, he posted 28 goals and 18 assists despite playing just 61 games.

In the Canadiens' Cinderella run to the Eastern Conference Finals, Gionta put up 9 goals and 15 points, the second-best total on the club behind Michael Cammalleri.

The 31-year-old Gionta is entering his ninth NHL season. He has 180 goals and 358 points in 534 regular-season games. He won the Stanley cup with New Jersey in 2003.
Quote of the Day

We've got to find a way to win a game. He's played well in the minors, now he gets his opportunity. We tried [with Jonathan Bernier]. The way I look at it, you get opportunities and you make the most of it. That's what [James Reimer] did. Now another opportunity is here and Sparks ... you gotta grab it. Is he ready? We'll find out.

— Maple Leafs coach Mike Babcock to the Toronto Star on recalling goalie Garret Sparks from the AHL to start Monday in his NHL debut
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