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Gionta returns to Montreal Friday (personal reasons)

Oct 11, 2013, 4:19 PM EST

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The Montreal Canadiens gave captain Brian Gionta their blessing to return to Montreal on Friday to address the “personal reasons” that have been a distraction for him early this season.

The Canadiens will face the Canucks in Vancouver on Saturday, so it’s possible that he could still play. Still, the Montreal Gazette’s Dave Stubbs believes Gionta’s next game will be a road contest against the Winnipeg Jets on Tuesday.

Gionta has been able to play in all four of Montreal’s games so far, scoring a goal and an assist.

The 34-year-old’s $5 million cap hit and salary expires after this season.

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