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."