Gorges’ value has been recognized by Canadiens management, who signed the defenceman to a six-year contract extension at $3.9 million per season.
Gorges was obtained in the best trade Bob Gainey ever made as Canadiens general manager.
At the February deadline in 2007, the Canadiens sent Craig Rivet and a fifth-round draft choice in 2008 to San Jose for Gorges and the Sharks’ 2007 first-round choice (22nd overall), which was used to draft Max Pacioretty.
The team announcement:
Members of the media covering the Montreal Canadiens voted defenceman Josh Gorges as the 2011-12 recipient of the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy. The trophy is awarded annually to the member of the Canadiens who played a dominant role during the regular season, without earning any particular honor. Gorges, who won the award in 2009-10, succeeds Roman Hamrlik who was the recipient in 2010-11.
Gorges received the most first-place votes in the race for the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy, earning 140 points in the overall standings, ahead of forward David Desharnais (102 points) and defenceman Alexei Emelin (44 points).
A native of Kelowna, British Columbia, Gorges leads the Canadiens at even strength with a total of 1,447:44 minutes of play, averaging 18:19 minutes of ice time per game. He is first on the team and second in the NHL on the penalty kill with 303:56 minutes of play, an average of 3:50 minutes per game (third in the NHL). Gorges ranks second with the Canadiens in overall ice time, with 1785:49 minutes of play, averaging 22:36 minutes of ice time per game.
Gorges leads the Canadiens with a +11 plus-minus differential and ranks third on the team with 125 hits. He leads all NHL players with 243 blocked shots. Gorges is one of two Canadiens’ players to appear in all the team’s games this season, after missing Montreal’s last 46 games in 2010-11 with a knee injury.
The 6’1’’, 201 lbs defenceman played his 300th career game with the Canadiens on December 15 against Philadelphia. Gorges took part in his 400th NHL career game on December 22 at Winnipeg.
Created in 1981 to honor the memory of the legendary sportswriter who spent most of his professional career covering the Canadiens, the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy was first awarded to Doug Jarvis following the 1981-82 season.
Josh Gorges will be presented with the Jacques Beauchamp-Molson Trophy during a ceremony prior to Saturday’s game against the Toronto Maple Leafs at the Bell Centre.