"We had a certain timing that we want to reach, and, obviously, I can't share this with you because that morning you'll all be at the door at my house. I'll keep it a surprise," Hartley told reporters on Thursday, as quoted by the Calgary Sun.
Flames defenseman Mark Giordano has been mentioned as a possible candidate to wear the C, as have forwards Curtis Glencross and Mike Cammalleri, though Cammalleri is in the final year of his current contract and is willing to waive his no-trade clause to accept a move to another team.
"I want to make it clear, we're not thinking about someone. Our choice (was) made up a long time ago," Hartley said. "We sat last year, and we went through the individual meetings.
"We talked with the players. I sat down and talked with (GM Jay Feaster). I talked with management. I even talked with ownership, and our choice was clear-cut.
"We have some very good prospects to be captains, to be assistant captains, but all our meetings were done, and basically, we were coming up with one name. It was basically unanimous that it was the one guy."