To probably nobody's surprise, Brian Gionta was named as the 28th captain in the history of the Montreal Canadiens. The full press release can be found here. Gionta becomes the second US-born player to wear the "C" in Montreal. Chris Chelios split the duties with Guy Carbonneau during the 1989-90 season.
"With all the names, all the Hall of Famers that have come through it's pretty special," Gionta said acknowledging the teams great history of leadership."It's quite an honour. It's such a rich hockey community. There's been a lot of great captains ahead of me, and hopefully I can live up to what they've done."
Rumours and reports that the 31-year-old winger would take the captaincy were made just before the team's golf tournament, and even assumed as fact on some radio broadcasts, but it was never made official until Wednesday morning. Even at Wednesday's media scrum, Gionta still admitted it was a surprise.
Hall Gill and Andrei Markov will take the alternate captain positions, but Gionta sees a leadership set similar to what was used last season. "I don't foresee two many things changing," he said. There's a group of core guys that make up a lot of the leadership qualities on this team, and were going to do it as a group."
The new Canadiens on-ice leader will make his Bell Centre debut on Thursday, in the team's final pre-season home game against the Buffalo Sabres.
And yes folks, he is going to try to learn French as he notes in his interview with RDS' Chantal Machabee
In the meantime the winds of change have also landed at Habs Eyes On The Prize.
As is well known, Robert Lefebvre has chosen to step down at this site. I was thrilled to be asked to take the reigns after a bit of badgering from Robert (just kidding) that stems almost a year ago. At the time I was focused on my own site, Ya! The Habs Rule!, which was initially inspired by Robert's work here, offering to contribute to EOTP when I could. Over the summer, Robert approached me again, and this time I agreed.
I would like to thank Robert for offering me this opportunity, and wish him the best in his future projects.
One thing that Robert is known for is his passion for the history of the Montreal Canadiens. It is truly unmatched by anyone, but that does not mean that EOTP will no longer carry on that tradition. Along with Chris Boyle, Bruce Peter and Francis Bouchard, we will continue to maintain a solid balance of the Habs past along with the team's present and future. I know that Chris and Bruce are already working on what I am sure will be some gems typical of what you are used to reading here, and I am working on a couple projects as well.
I am also happy that Robert brought on Joe Pelletier of Greatest Hockey Legends to join us. Joe will be featuring a Habs legend in a daily or every other day basis. I may call on other noted bloggers to throw in their two cents on occasion as well.
And of course, if Robert has an inkling to throw out something, he is more than welcome to share it here at any time.
Layout wise, you won't see many changes, but I have created a new Twitter account for EOTP to allow us to keep our own individual thoughts separate from here..lol .We will also be testing out a game thread as the pre-season winds down and the regular season begins to allow the readers to interact as the game progresses.
In all I am looking forward to the challenge of working with a highly talented group of individuals, and hoping that this transition is as smooth as it was with Selke to Pollock, and not like Pollock to Grundman!
GO HABS GO!