Montreal Canadiens defenceman Josh Gorges expressed his shock and disappointment on Monday with the news that the team is trying to trade him.
TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie reports that Gorges, who has played eight seasons with the Canadiens, is on the trade block after the club asked him to waive his no-trade clause to facilitate a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs.
"I want people to know that I never wanted to leave Montreal," he said in interviews with Dave Stubbs of The Montreal Gazette and J-F Chaumont of Le Journal de Montreal on Monday. "I have never asked for a trade - this is (general manager) Marc Bergevin's call. I am in shock."
Gorges, acquired in a trade with the San Jose Sharks in 2007 (along with a first-round pick that became forward Max Pacioretty) for defenceman Craig Rivet, has four years left on a six-year contract worth $3.9 million per season.
McKenzie reported on Monday afternoon that Gorges would not allow a deal with the Leafs - one of 15 teams on his no-trade list. McKenzie added over the weekend that none of the six other Canadian teams are on his list of permissible trade destinations, but Gorges told Stubbs on Monday that he's expanded the list to include a couple of Canadian teams.
"This is really hard to accept," Gorges added to both Montreal papers. "I have always given my heart to this team."