With training camps opening up all across the NHL this week, there is certainly no shortage of story lines across the league. One of those stories is from a nixed trade that took place two months ago between the Montreal Canadiens and Toronto Maple Leafs.
Nov 30, 2013; Montreal, Quebec, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk (21) celebrates his goal against Montreal Canadiens with teammates center Tyler Bozak (42) and right wing Phil Kessel (81) as defenseman Josh Gorges (26) passes on during the second period at Bell Centre. Mandatory Credit: Jean-Yves Ahern-USA TODAY Sports
Back on July 1st, former Montreal Canadiens defenseman Josh Gorges exercised his no-trade clause to veto a trade that would have sent Gorges to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for defenseman Cody Franson.
Although fans of the Maple Leafs learned to dislike Gorges through the teams rivalry with the Canadiens, apparently Gorges shared the same feeling.
According to the Toronto Sun’s Mike Zeisberger, Josh Gorges admitted that the reason he nixed a trade to the Maple Leafs was because of the “hate” he developed over the years for the Maple Leafs.
However, Gorges did agree to be traded to Buffalo, another Maple Leafs rival that is only a quick trip down the QEW away.
“I just felt that I probably wouldn’t be the same player in Toronto that I was in Montreal,” Gorges said.
"“I’ve always played this game from my heart. With character. And going to a team that you’ve learned to have over a number of years, I don’t think it would have been fair to Toronto. And that’s one thing I told them right off the bat. I don’t think you’d be able to get the best of me. And I just thought it was fair to let them know that.”"
Whether Leaf fans believe Gorges or not is debatable, but at least he came out and said what we were all probably thinking – he hates the Leafs.
When Gorges choose the Sabres over the Leafs, fans of the blue and white were probably befuddled by the decision and could not find any other reason aside from the fact that he must hate the Maple Leafs.
Well, now we know that notion to be true.
The Maple Leafs and Sabres have a history of emotional games over the years. The addition of Gorges to Buffalo’s lineup will certainly spark some “hate” from the Leafs faithful when the Sabres visit the Leafs on October 28th.