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.