Nov 26, 2011; Montreal, QC, CAN; Montreal Canadiens captain Brian Gionta (21) misses a chance to score a goal against Pittsburgh Penguins goalie Marc-Andre Fleury (29) during the third period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-US PRESSWIRE

Beyond the 'C': The Story of Brian Gionta

Dec 6, 2011; Montreal, QC, CAN; Columbus Blue Jackets goaltender Curtis Sanford (30) stops a shot by Montreal Canadiens forward Brian Gionta (21) to seal the win during the shootout period at the Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Eric Bolte-US PRESSWIRE







175 lbs.


Right Wing


82nd   Overall to New Jersey

Today is the day I head this series back to a Canadian team. This is all about Brian Gionta, who has a bit of a different story. He won a Stanley Cup with his first team, the New Jersey Devils, and then left and made his way to captaincy for another team, the Montreal Canadiens. It would be nice if he could lead the Canadiens to their first Cup win in about 20 years. This is Beyond the ‘C’: The Story of Brian Gionta.

Brian is the 2nd American-born captain of the Canadiens. He was born in Rochester, NY, which is where I have family living. I just came back from vacation in the middle of June. It’s a beautiful city, and a hockey city. The first American-born captain of the Canadiens was Chris Chelios when he was co-captain with Guy Carbonneau. Gionta is known as “Gio” and “The Rochester Rocket”. He is one of the star players of the Canadiens and there is no secret why. In New Jersey, he was part of their “EGG” line which consisted of Gionta, Patrick Elias, and Scott Gomez. In my personal opinion, I think he is the best out of those three. Some may agree, and some may disagree, but that’s my insight. Gionta is a “crash the net” kind of player, even though he isn’t a tall player.

He comes from a family of hockey players. His brother, Stephen Gionta, plays for his former New Jersey Devils, who just reached the Stanley Cup Finals this year. His older brother, Joe Gionta, had played for the Aquinas Hockey Team and graduated in 1994. There are many stars that come from a family of hockey players, such as the Sedin brothers (Vancouver Canucks) and the Staal Brothers (Jordan and Eric play in Carolina and Marc plays in New York (Rangers)).

Brian holds a record in New Jersey. He has the most goals in a single season of any Devils player. He reached 48 goals in the 2005-2006 hockey season.

Editor’s Corner:

Lisa Fiorilli, the editor for A Winning Hab-it, sent me a statement on Gionta. Even though it isn’t really a positive message, I have to agree. He isn’t the best fit for the captaincy in Montreal. I see P.K. Subban as a more suitable captain. He seems to be more of the face of the Canadiens rather than Gionta. Here’s what Lisa had to say.

“Only the second American-born captain in Canadiens history, Brian Gionta came over to the team during Bob Gainey’s free agency spending spree in the offseason of 2009. He signed a 5 year, 25$ million contract and was named captain a year later. Now, with his 4th season in a Canadiens uniform to commence in October, many wonder whether Gionta will remain the face of the Canadiens. With the team committed to a rebuild, can they rely on an aging and injury prone captain who only played 31 games last season? Though he has been lauded for his leadership skills in New Jersey, the captain was noticeably silent during last year’s debacle.  Personally, I think Gionta’s time with the Canadiens has reached its course. He is small in stature, and with the team shifting into rebuild mode, the objective should be to get bigger and tougher. Gionta is a points producer, but he is expendable.”

Here is a list of awards Gionta is responsible for. Winning all of these awards doesn’t mean he is a great player. I’m not saying he is terrible. I just think some other players would be a better leader in Montreal.

Rookie of the   Year

(Aquinas   Institute)


All-Rookie   Team

(Hockey East)


Second   All-Star Team

(Hockey East)


Rookie of the   Year

(Hockey East)


East Second   All-American Team



First   All-Star Team

(Hockey East)

1999, 2000, 2001

East First   All-American Team


1999, 2000,   2001

All-Star   Selection, IIHF

World Junior   Hockey Championships


Walter Brown   Award (NCAA)

(Shared with   Ty Conklin)


Player of the   Year

(Hockey East)


Stanley Cup

New Jersey   Devils


Closing Argument:

The Montreal Canadiens have Brian Gionta on contract for another two years, and that might be perfect. As Lisa said earlier, the Canadiens are in rebuild mode. They can give Gionta up to Free Agency and bring in some new and young talent. I would name P.K. Subban as the captain. When I think of the Canadiens, I think of two things. 1) How they used to be the best team; and 2) P.K. Subban and his big hits in the defensive end. That’s just how I feel. I’m not going to lie; I had to look up who the captain of Montreal was, because I had no idea what-so-ever. Come give me a chirp all you Gionta fans on Twitter, and I’ll chirp right back.


Tags: Brian Gionta Carolina Hurricanes FanSided Hockey Montreal Canadiens New Jersey Devils New York Rangers NHL Vancouver Canucks

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