Here's a link to a great article on Josh Gorges by the Kelowna Daily Courier. Josh is almost being willfully blind to the fact that his cap hit/contract are responsible for him being traded, and the glut of lefties on the blue line in Montréal. He keeps saying he doesn't understand why he was traded. But maybe that's the kind of obstinacy, of competitiveness that you need to make it to the NHL, especially as an undrafted free agent, like Josh did.
He repeats that the toughest parts are not getting a chance to win a Cup as a Canadien, and having to 'break up' with the other players, who he calls his family. Josh certainly had the right mindset as a teammate and leader, as opposed to Thomas Vanek let's say, who has a more practical, mercenary approach.
While his departure may affect the rest of the team, and more particularly his close friends on the team like Carey Price and Brendan Gallagher, I think the players can accept the move, even if they don’t ‘like it’. If the replacements Jarred Tinordi and Nathan Beaulieu are solid players who are clearly better on the ice than Josh was.
I’ve been through this before in rugby, where guys I’d been playing with in 1st Division would get bumped down to 2nd for some hotshot South African or Brit, or a kid who barely knew or understood the game. Nobody was really happy about it, except when the game started and the new guy was clearly, unquestionably a better player, and we had a much better team on the field, any controversy was quickly quelled. The other guys would play second division and hope for a chance to get back up on the 1st if an injury happened or some other situation, and life went on.
There was a kid who quickly got the nickname ‘Psycho’ early on, and the coaches loved him and handed him the wing position right at the start of the season, even though he was frequently offside and fuzzy on the rules in practice. We were stumped. His first game though, we understood what the coaches saw, he was a snarling menace, tackling and running like crazy, and we were cheering him on and chanting “Psycho!” by the second half.
If Jarred/Nathan are good guys, not prima-donna Golden Boys who get handed the position by virtue of their draft history, everything should work out.