Canadiens GM Gauthier: Montreal will have a captain this year

montrealcanadiens.gifFrom the Department of Overdue and Dramatic Decisions this morning, Montreal Canadiens GM Pierre Gauthier declared during his morning press conference that the Canadiens will, indeed, have a captain this season.

General manager Pierre Gauthier said Monday there will be a few candidates for the job but gave no hint of who will be chosen.

“The process is ongoing,” he said during a media availability. “What happened during the playoffs and before when we had to push hard to make the playoffs at the end of last season, that’s where a leadership group formed inside the team.

“Now the core of the team understands better who the leaders are.”

Since Saku Koivu left for Anaheim the Habs have been without an on-ice captain. Last season they rolled with players wearing the “A” as the franchise seemed to go through a year of mourning after not re-signing Koivu and seeing him go off to southern California.

This year, Koivu’s old number 11 will be worn by Scott Gomez and now the team is set to give the “C” to any one of guys like Brian Gionta, Mike Cammalleri, Andrei Markov or a dark horse candidate ( like Josh Gorges). Captaincy in Montreal is certainly a bigger deal there than in some other cities because the demands of a captain in Montreal are amped up by exponential degrees thanks to a rabid fanbase.

Who is the guy that makes most sense for the job? Mike Cammalleri. He’s able to communicate in both English and French (kind of a big deal in Quebec), he’s the leader on the stat sheet for the team and he’s done a world of growing up since his days in Los Angeles and Calgary. He’s a mature guy that carried the Habs on his back in the playoffs and is now a bonafide rock star in Montreal now.

While Markov has been a Habs lifer and Gionta has the career experience and similar tenacity to that of Cammalleri, with the steps Cammalleri has taken in Montreal to move to the forefront of the organization, he’s the guy that makes most sense.

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    Sabres place Lehner on IR; Recall Lieuwen

    Connor Brown, Robin Lehner
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    They’re just one game into their regular season, but the Buffalo Sabres have already had to shift things around in their crease.

    The Sabres announced that they have placed starting goaltender Robin Lehner on injured reserve after he was knocked out of Thursday’s game with a lower-body injury.

    In a corresponding move, the club has recalled Nathan Lieuwen from their AHL affiliate in Rochester.

    The 24-year-old didn’t play in the NHL last season, but he did have a 1-4-0 record with a 2.98 goals-against-average and a .906 save percentage in seven games during the 2013-14 season.

    Lieuwen was Buffalo’s sixth round pick, 167th overall, in the 2011 draft.

    The Sabres also announced that they have loaned defenseman Jake McCabe and goaltender Linus Ullmark to the Rochester Americans (AHL).

    McCabe was a healthy scratch in Thursday’s game against Ottawa, while Ullmark is being activated off I.R. after having double hip surgery during the off-season.



    Chara ‘doubtful’ for game against rival Canadiens

    Brad Marchand, Zdeno Chara
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    It looks like the Boston Bruins will be without their captain again on Saturday night.

    Head coach Claude Julien told members of the media that Zdeno Chara is considered doubtful for tonight’s game against the Montreal Canadiens.

    Chara suffered an upper-body injury during the preseason and he’s already been forced to miss Boston’s season opening loss to the Jets.

    Per CSN, Chara says he’s improving but he won’t return to the lineup until he’s as close to 100 percent as possible.

    “Every area of the injury is improving,” said Chara. “Hopefully it’s not long before I’m free of any kind of discomfort. That’s what we’re doing right now…we’re being patient. For sure you don’t want to come back, and be half of what you are…and basically hurting yourself and the team. And you’re putting yourself in a position where you could be missing more time. At this time of the season, I think it’s important to be as close as you can be to 100 percent.”

    Based on the number of defensive mistakes they committed on Thursday, the Bruins need Chara back as soon as possible: