Brian Gionta is and has been an outstanding captain since his naming in 2010. I often hear people talk about him with such disdain for his captaincy or his spot on the roster. No he is no longer a $5M player and he will surely have to take a pay cut no matter where he signs this summer. However, he has served mightily and honourably as captain of the most storied franchise in hockey. In his first season with the Canadiens Gionta scored 28 goals in 61 games, and 29 in the following season in 82 games. The seven-time 20 goal-scorer’s numbers have since dropped but the 18 goals and 40 points he put up last season are respectable. His compete and his battle are unquestioned; I have praised Brian Gionta as our captain since day one. He has been exemplary.
In the event that he does not return to Montreal this fall, here is my list of possible candidates for the captaincy:
He wears an “A” and I would have no problem stitching in a “C” on his jersey. In my mind Gorges is true captain material. His toughness comes from his heart and the younger players on the team try to emulate his attitude and fight. Only 5 players blocked more shots than him last season and all of them played more games than him. (One of the 5 was Andrei Markov who blocked only three more than Gorges.) He is an elite penalty killer and he is also as classy as they come in front of the media. He has grown from nothing on the team to one of its strongest shutdown defenseman. He would get my vote.
Patch has been one of the players around whom the Canadiens have built for the past couple of years. He is one of the bright spots in a dark 1st round draft record in recent years. He was the league’s fourth highest goal scorer last season with 39 lamps lit. During the last 3 seasons he has produced 0.83 points per game and has scored 87 goals. (Bear in mind the lockout-shortenned season). He has earned his minutes and is now a fixture on the top 6 and the Canadiens go-to scorer. He is not afraid to lay out the body and he is a determined worker who came back to form after a pair of devastating and potentially career ending injuries (neck and head). His resiliency is spectacular and he has taken up a leadership role on the team. He could be our next captain.
- Andrei Markov (If resigned this summer)
I have to include his name in this list because he is the longest serving active member of the Canadiens roster at 16 dedicated years. I do not need to outline the strengths and accomplishments he has proven to Montrealers and all hockey fans. He currently wears an “A” alongside Josh Gorges and is perhaps better-suited for a vowel than a consonant – some leaders are. There are many great leaders who do not don the captain’s logo on their chests. I think he has been and will continue to be an effective leader as an alternate captain.
Side note: Carey Price would make a great captain, would he not?
P.K. Subban is a leader as well. However, he has yet much to learn. His time will come – he is still young. He is also one of those players who I believe can be an effective leader even without the letter.
All this to say, I am a passionate Brian Gionta supporter and if he is a Canadien come fall, I would not rather see anyone else as captain of the team.
Who do you think should replace Brian Gionta as captain of the Habs if he is not resigned?