Habs downplay Gionta report

Brian Gionta is an eight-year veteran who's entering his second season with the Habs. (QMI...

Brian Gionta is an eight-year veteran who's entering his second season with the Habs. (QMI Agency/Martin Chevalier)

QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 4:08 PM ET

MONTREAL -- The Montreal Canadiens refused to confirm a published report that right-winger Brian Gionta will be named captain.

A report in Montreal's La Presse newspaper Thursday says Gionta, 31, will receive the title during training camp, which opens Friday.

Gionta would be the 28th captain in the Canadiens' 101-year history.

Canadiens coach Jacques Martin told reporters the report was just "speculation."

"The process is in place and we will announce it before the end of training camp," Martin said at the team's annual golf tournament north of Montreal. "The players will be the first to find out."

La Presse says defenceman Andrei Markov, a 10-year Habs veteran, is a front-runner to be Gionta's assistant and will likely be joined by fellow blueliner Hal Gill.

Longtime fan favourite Saku Koivu, who wore the C for 10 years, went to Anaheim as a free agent prior to last season. Gionta, Markov and Gill shared assistant duties in his absence but the team went without a captain during its run to the Eastern Conference final.

Gionta is in his second season with the Canadiens. He recorded 28 goals and 18 assists in 61 games last season.


Videos

Photos