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Josh Gorges nixes Toronto trade, but could Canadiens pressure him?

NHL: Montreal Canadiens at Carolina Hurricanes

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Feb 8, 2014; Raleigh, NC, USA; Montreal Canadiens goalie Carey Price (31) is congratulated after the game by teammate defensemen Josh Gorges (26) after defeating the Carolina Hurricanes at PNC Arena. The Montreal Canadiens defeated the Carolina Hurricanes 4-1. (James Guillory-USA TODAY Sports)

Josh Gorges has four years left on his deal with the Montreal Canadiens at $3.9 million per season, which is messing with their plans this offseason. So the Canadiens have been shopping their well-liked stay-at-home defenseman, and found a taker: The Toronto Maple Leafs

Except Gorges has a limited no-trade clause, and Toronto is one of the teams on his “DO NOT TRADE “ list.

This is actually OK, according to Leafs fans, as Gorges was a dud in possession at 5-on-5 ever after his numbers were dragged up by playing with P.K. Subban. But that’s Gorges: A B-level defenseman who will kill penalties and be an all-around decent guy while allowing the other team to skate with the puck.

However, there’s apparently still a chance the Canadiens could strong-arm him into a trade, as Bob McKenzie wonders if waivers could scare Gorges into accepting the Leafs as a destination if Montreal can’t find a deal with the other 15 teams he’s approved on his trade list. 

While that kind of hardball doesn’t usually happen with players owning no-trade clauses, it’s not unprecedented: See Boyle, Dan in Tampa Bay back in 2008. Although we imagine the relationship between Gorges and the Habs is a bit sunnier than it was between Boyle and Len Barrie.

And that's the tough part about all of this, which is that Josh Gorges is an all-in team player who guts out every game. As he told Dave Stubbs, he's "deeply disappointed" by all of this and "I want people to know that I never wanted to leave Montreal. In no way has this been my decision."

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