Wed Sep 29 10:58am EDT
At the time, it was big news that Gionta would be only the second American-born player to wear the 'C', with 1989 co-captain Chris Chelios(notes) having been the other. Somehow, that fact didn't make the editorial cut on the Canadiens' formal announcement. Politiques!
We ran a Pass/Fail for Gionta's captaincy after the initial leak, and the reader response was an emphatic "PASS" ... save for a few fans that felt Michael Cammalleri(notes) deserved it just as much or that Andrei Markov(notes) is the team's foundational player, despite being close to free agency. As we wrote at the time:
If you're going to redistribute the 'C', you're not going to give it to a player that's one year away from unrestricted free agency. The Montreal Canadiens have exactly four players signed through 2013: Scott Gomez(notes), Mike Cammalleri, Tomas Plekanec(notes) and Brian Gionta. Say you were going to select a new captain from that group. Gomez is a flake, so he's out. Plekanec doesn't scream captain material.
That left Cammalleri and Gionta on the short list (rim shot), and the Canadiens couldn't have gone wrong with either of them. Hal Gill and Andrei Markov will remain as alternate captains.
In true Canadiens fashion, they've created a movie trailer to announce Gionta's captaincy and to capture the historic importance of this torch passing. Click here to watch it, as the Habs don't have an embeddable version; and be sure to enjoy the music inspired by a 1980s swords-and-sandals epic ala "Beastmaster." Also note that along with the press release failing to mention the "American captain" angle, Gionta ends the video speaking in French.
According to Wikipedia, the NHL currently has five captain vacancies left: Anaheim Ducks, Atlanta Thrashers, Edmonton Oilers, San Jose Sharks and Vancouver Canucks. If we were bettin' men, we'd wager on Getzlaf, Boyle and Sedin for three of them.
What say you: Who should be the captains for the Thrashers and the Oil?