May 19, 2014; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges (26) skates with the puck against New York Rangers during the second period in game two of the Eastern Conference Finals of the 2014 Stanley Cup Playoffs at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports

Toronto Maple Leafs 'insulted' by Josh Gorges trade rebuff?


When Josh Gorges rejected a trade that would have sent him from the Montreal Canadiens to the Toronto Maple Leafs, he cited the fact that he couldn’t picture himself wearing the jersey of a rival team after having given so much to Montreal. One day later, he accepted a trade to division mate Buffalo. While the Leafs brass would never be so foolish as to publicly condemn Gorges, it’s clear if one reads between the lines that the team was perturbed and confused, maybe even insulted.

“I’m too polite to say anything,” general manager Dave Nonis said to Steve Simmons at the Toronto Sun. “It was his choice and he made it.”

And make it he did. Instead of playing for the Leafs, who missed the playoffs after a pretty competitive first half of their season, Gorges chose the league-worst Buffalo Sabres from a year ago once the Canadiens made it clear they were trading the veteran defenseman.

While no one would say much about the incident, Simmons called the whole thing ‘insulting’ which kind of seems like the point when you’re denying the *ahem* opportunity to join one of the most dysfunctional and poorly run organizations in professional sports.

What Simmons and Nonis and the rest of Toronto don’t seem to realize is that athletes don’t care that Toronto is a wonderful city that could house the entirety of Buffalo in one block of its downtown. They don’t care that Toronto calls itself the ‘centre of the hockey universe’ even though the franchise sports the second-longest Stanley Cup drought in the NHL. They don’t care about the predictable jokes Toronto citizens make about smaller cities around them.

If Josh Gorges wants to visit Toronto, he’s a quick drive up the QEW away. What Gorges wants is to play hockey for an organization that actually has a plan for the future. He wants to play for a GM who doesn’t think signing David Clarkson to a seven-year deal is a good idea.

In short, Josh Gorges would rather lose for a couple years in Buffalo than lose forever in Toronto. It’s a harsh reality, but if anyone is truly insulted by a professional’s choice of locale, then they need to further examine how their own personal feelings tie in with the sports world around them, then connect with the reality of the situation.

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Tags: Toronto Maple Leafs

  • Leafer68

    You say “Josh Gorges would rather lose for a couple years in Buffalo than lose forever in Toronto” and yet you make no analysis of either roster. All you offer is fluffy lowbrow comments with no substance. Hard to take you serious!

  • Can_of_corn

    This is so wrong. Gorges didn’t choose to go to Buffalo. Buffalo was not on his list of teams he would reject but Toronto was.

    Gorges cited the rivalry aS his reason for not wanting to play in Toronto. Have to respect his passion. Far more than i respect this writers work anyway. This isn’t just bad judgment its flat out wrong

    • Heath_Hindman

      “This is so wrong. Gorges didn’t choose to go to Buffalo. Buffalo was not on his list of teams he would reject but Toronto was.”

      …Which is kind of like saying he chose Buffalo over Toronto. You’ve only got a few teams to say you can’t go to. He put Toronto on there. He didn’t put Buffalo on there. You can spin it as a lesser of two evils thing if you want. The end result is the same.

      This is not rocket surgery.

      “Far more than i respect this writers work anyway. This isn’t just bad judgment its flat out wrong”

      If we’re talking about writing quality, you made so many basic English errors in these few words that honestly, I’m not sure how much your respect is worth.

  • Me Ted

    Did a six year old write this? I think the term to describe it is “dross”. Utter dross.

  • Gary Slippoy

    Gorges must be pretty smart to turn down a trade to “Team Disfunction”.

  • Nick

    Simmons can go pound salt. And don’t worry, Gorges can get a taste of the people from Toronto when they go shopping at the Walden Galleria Mall and leave all their garbage laying in the parking lot.

  • peg_c

    “Center of the hockey universe” is much of the reason TO is “Team Dysfunction.” And I say this as a Leafs fan!

    • D.WAdair

      Sure you are, we believe you but thousand wouldn’t

      • peg_c

        I know, but that’s OK. I know what I see. Expectations are simultaneously very high and very low for the team – because of endless promises made by the org. and the disappointments year after year. Good players come to TO and become lousy, then go elsewhere and (often) become good again. The media fishbowl is relentless, focusing on the most minute of trivia. The coach has a no-problems-leave-the-dressing-room dictat and then he publicly rips and humiliates his own players. The whole thing is a nightmare and I’m not surprised players don’t want to go there. And yet, I’m never happier than when they’re winning and happy.

  • D.WAdair

    Can’t really see his point of view if that was me I would want to go to TO so I could rub their nose in it every time they played them or go to Boston and have some fun. He is a funny duck.

  • A13276

    What a punk article; how old is this guy – 12? Seems to me that Gorges has a pretty low IQ not wanting to go to the centre of the hockey universe and instead deciding to go to Buffalo; who everyone knows is a 1st rate city and organization in the NHL and NFL and MLB and – oh wait – that’s right – they’re not a major North American city! Cory Buck – I’ll remember that name.