The Montreal Canadiens blue line has been crushed by injuries all season. One player that's avoided the injury bug has been shutdown defenseman Josh Gorges, and his play was rewarded on Sunday afternoon with a brand new six-year contract that's worth a reported $23.4 million dollars. The deal also reportedly includes a complete no-trade clause in the first year of the deal, and a limited one over the following five years.
In 39 games this season he's scored one goal to go with nine assists, but offense isn't necessarily what his game is about. Gorges generally plays against the oppositions best players and logs the toughest assignments on the Montreal blue line. That role has expanded quite a bit this season given the absence of players like Andrei Markov, as well as the departure of Roman Hamrlik over the summer in free agency.
His play this season defensively has been one of the few bright spot for a Montreal team that's already replaced its head coach (as well as assistant coach Perry Pearn) and currently sits in 13th place in the Eastern Conference, already eight points out of the eighth and final playoff spot.
At the age of 27 Gorges is still probably in the prime of his career for at least a few more years, and the $3.8 million average annual salary represents a $1.3 million increase from the $2.5 million he makes this season.
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