Wednesday, August 4, 2010

Very Captainesque













Who knew Josh Gorges was such a tease? A lot of people, including me and Don Cherry, think he'd be a great captain of the Montreal Canadiens. So, earlier this week, he gave an interview in which he said he's pretty sure he knows who the new captain will be, but demurred when the interviewer asked if it's him. He said "when it gets announced,it'll be an exciting time for him and for the team." The interesting thing was that he gave this interview while attending and helping out at the Jacques Martin hockey camp. He said the coach...who will be the guy choosing the new captain...called him and asked him to take part. I wonder how many of the other Canadiens were on Martin's speed-dial when it came to picking hockey camp instructors?

It's very interesting too that in body language psychology, looking down and to the right when asked questions often means the person is thinking of creative answers, or trying to cover something up. Gorges did it three times when asked about whether he'll be the captain or knows who the captain will be.

Another little incident that seems kind of telling is that Gorges, after appearing at the Martin hockey camp this week, flew to Calgary today for the official announcement of February's Heritage Classic. He was the only Canadiens player present, and had a prepared speech he read to the gathered crowd. I found it fascinating that of all the Canadiens players possible, including Carey Price who's already training in Calgary, and Mike Cammalleri, who loves the spotlight and is certainly a more high-profile player than Gorges, they picked the young defenceman to represent the team today.

In June, Gorges was the player selected by the team to travel to the NHL draft in Los Angeles and welcome the new Canadiens to the organization. At that time, several people at the draft noted his presence and wondered "why him?"*

Gorges is a friend to Carey Price and was reportedly inspirational during the playoffs. He's been a captain before, and led a team to a championship. He'll also have a basic French because he was schooled in Canada, so perhaps he'd have an easier time than a lot of guys in adding to that base. He's certainly the type of guy who'd try to do his best.

All of this may be nothing more than coincidence. Maybe lots of players attended Martin's hockey camp, but RDS only caught up with Gorges for an interview. Perhaps Gorges was the only one available to fly out to Calgary for the announcement of the Classic and appear in the photo op wearing the Habs sweater. I just find it very captainesque of him to be at both the camp and the announcement, all within a few days. One would think if Brian Gionta or Mike Cammalleri or Andrei Markov were to be announced as captain in a few weeks, the team would be promoting them and encouraging their presence at those kinds of events. Or maybe not. Maybe the new captain, if it's not Gorges, just couldn't make it.

All I know is the only Canadiens player we've seen anywhere official this summer is Gorges, and maybe that fact actually means something.





*Thanks to Kyle and Steve for reminding me in the comments that Gorges was also representing the players at the draft! Photo by Dylan Lynch/Getty Images

13 comments:

Anonymous said...

Hi there love ur article. Id be Happy with Goerges,Gionta, Cammy or Markov (secretly hoping its him,deserves it after 10 yrs with the Habs also my fav Habs) as our Capitain. There were other players at Martin's Hockey camp.Lappierre,Gill and Darche were skating with the kids. Also Markov,Subban Leblanc and 2 others signed autographs. GO to the Habs website and you will see the pics posted there. :~)

lr said...

found it interesting as well that Josh was sent there to represent the team!
I hope he gets to wear the BIG C. :)

kyleroussel said...

You beat me to it, JT! I had a draft started on just this topic!

No matter, I agree. Lets not forget that Gorges was at the draft, unless my mind is playing tricks on me?

I would have put my money on Gionta, but Gorges has been my emotional choice for months. No doubt he deserves the selection, which certainly sounds like its coming.

Number31 said...

Everybody loves Gorges so why not :D

Jessica and Stephan said...

I agree, Gorges :) Markov would be great, but he didn't want it last year and I doubt that has changed....

stevomtl said...

Good article JT, also wanted to add that Gorges was the only Habs player at the NHL draft this summer. Maybe Gorges has no social life and is simply always available! >:P
Stevo

Jan said...

It's definitely starting to look more like a pattern than just a bunch of coincidences, isn't it?

I also don't think it's a coincidence that Gorges and Price are great friends and that naming Gorges captain would probably be very beneficial to the goalie they just handed the reins to. Not to say that that would be the reason Gorges would be named captain, because he would deserve it for many reasons, but it sure would be an added incentive for Price to stay long-term if the team was very committed to his good friend.

Also, notice that Gorges cleverly responded to the question of whether he would be captain. Not only did he say it would be a special moment for that person, but he also said he knew who he would pick if it were up to him, which doesn't mean it's not Gorges, it just means he obviously wouldn't pick himself if he had to vote.

The more I think about it, the more I think it will be Gorges.

Every other candidate would have added pressure as soon as the C would be given to them. What added pressure would Gorges face? Would he have to block more shots? He is also a young veteran who has been on the team longer than the new guys and seems more comfortable with the media than Markov.

Kevin aka "yathehabsrule" said...

From an official standpoint, there hasn't really been anything else Canadiens-related for Habs players to be at that I can think of. Was Gorges there when Gill, Cammi, Gionta, et al were introduced? Let me think...

There is no question that Gorges has leadership qualities, and has proven he can handle the Montreal media. He's at least deserving of an "A" on his sweater at some point.

For the Canadiens to consider him though, it wil take more commitment from him though and I mean in a contractual sense.

Gorges will be an RFA after the upcoming season. So unless he re-signs to a decent term contract, I do not "C" it in his future in Montreal.

Anonymous said...

Im not convinced that Josh's hockey ability will allow him to secure a spot in the top 6 anytime soon. He is effectively a bubble plus player. By that I mean he can eat minutes and be valuable on a nightly basis but is one step away from being replaced by a bigger player or one with more offense. He has the character to be a captain but I dont think he is secure enough in logging enough minutes to make it worthwhile having him as captain.

J.T. said...

@Jan: Yes, he was very careful with his answers, wasn't he? He didn't say "No, it's not me," straight out, which a lot of guys would say if they knew they *weren't* the team's choice. He didn't laugh it off either. He just said, "You don't turn that down." Hmmmm...

@Kevin: I agree, the team needs to commit to Gorges if he's going to be captain. Perhaps we'll see something done with him during the season.

@anon: I'm pretty sure Gorges' spot in the top six is safe. He does nothing spectacularly, but he does all the little things well. He's not big, but he's tough. He skates well and even though he's not the biggest guy in a battle, he most often comes out with the puck. In the playoffs he upped his game and was one of the most valuable defencemen on the team. I think he's also got some untapped offensive ability.

DB said...

Maybe the Habs wanted a WHL alumni at the Calgary event which narrowed the choice to Gorges, Price or Moen.

They picked Gorges because he gives a much better interview than either Price or Moen and there wouldn't be any questions about the status of his contract negotiations.

Gorges would be a good choice for captain, but so would Gionta, Cammalleri, Markov and Pleks.

Naila J. said...

I love Gorges and think he would make a great team captain. There's no ego there, which is essential for such a young team still struggling to find its true identity.

moeman said...

He'd be a great CHoice. He's got an one-ice Gaineyesque Captain vibe to him.