The Montreal Canadiens will name a captain before the start of the NHL regular 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."

The Canadiens reached the Eastern Conference final last season despite not having a captain. The team's last captain was Saku Koivu, who left as a free agent after the 2008-09 season.

Leading candidates for the job are defenceman Andrei Markov, forwards Brian Gionta and Scott Gomez. Rearguard Josh Gorges is also a possible candidate.