On a scale, the letter stitched on the upper left of his jersey is only a few grams. But this "C" weighs much more in a figurative sense to Brian Gionta, who is entering his second season as captain of the Canadiens.

A year ago, Gionta predicted that the honour and the duties of the position would do little to change him. On Thursday, when he skates onto Toronto's Air Canada Centre ice for his 97th game wearing the C, there will be no reason to doubt his words.