Tuesday, September 9, 2014

Josh Gorges Jersey Card

The Montréal Canadiens had a dozen good reasons to trade Josh Gorges this summer, such as his cap hit and contract length, his limited offensive capabilities, wanting to change the leadership group in the dressing room (and take letters away from players who, while dedicated and hard-working, contribute less on the scoreboard than their extreme vocal-ness in the locker room would require), and the lack of room on a defense that already also includes P.K. Subban, Andrei Markov, Alexei Emelin, Mike Weaver (who does Gorges' defensive on-ice job at a third of the price), Tom Gilbert (who will be an improvement on the second powerplay unit), Nathan Beaulieu and Jarred Tinordi - and possibly Francis Bouillon.

He, however, still doesn't understand, as he told reporters from his off-season home in Kelowna. And that's a bit of an issue, too: he hasn't embraced the city enough to live here full-time, let alone learn the local language. So, after refusing a trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he was sent to the Buffalo Sabres.

I have no complaints about Gorges' time in Montréal. He got here at the tail end of 2006-07 and barely played because no one was familiar with what he could bring to the table, and he hadn't been factored into the team's system. But from 2007-08 on, he did his very best and improved - and impressed - enough to sport the alternate captain's 'A' for the past few years. He would also be one of the few players to face the media after almost every game.

He was a good soldier, just not sergeant material. He will, however, forever be a Hab in fans' hearts.

And so I bid him farewell for now, with this card from Panini's 2010-11 Zenith set (#JG in the die-cut jersey series), featuring a white swatch but showing him in the Habs' classic red uniform:
I had written him and sent 3 cards in November 2010, but never heard back. I wish him - and his family - the best in Buffalo.

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