by Amy Moritz
It was a tough few days for Josh Gorges. The 29-year old defenseman was stunned when he heard the Montreal Canadiens were looking to trade him. He loved playing for Montreal. He loved his time with the team and the organization.
Still, the reality was the Canadiens wanted to trade him and Gorges looked over his list of approved teams. He added Buffalo.
Tuesday afternoon, he officially joined the Sabres.
Buffalo acquired Gorges by trading a 2016 second-round pick (via Minnesota) and he spoke with media members via conference call later in the day.
"I knew my time in Montreal was over and looking ahead I wanted to evaluate the teams on the list," Gorges said. "Looking at Buffalo, I always had a lot of respect for Ted Nolan as a head coach, the new ownership, what they're doing with the that team and the direction they're heading. I felt it was a good opportunity to go in and help with a good, young time. I figured it's a good fit for me and for my family and we're excited about it."
Just what excites a nine-year NHL veteran about joining a rebuild in Buffalo?
"From playing against them this year, they’re a tough team," Gorges said. "Their players work extremely hard, they come at you hard. It's never easy to play against them and when you have young guys willing and committed ... it's only going to get brighter."
Gorges nixed a trade to Toronto, saying after seven seasons playing for Montreal he couldn't bring himself to play for the Maple Leafs. So the rivarly the Sabres have with Toronto will be second nature to him.
"It won't take me long to get into that rivalry with Toronto," he said. "I've been living it a number of years already."