Just a few hours into free agency, the rumors began to swirl, and it began to link players to Buffalo rather quickly. Some of the names floating around included Rochester native Brian Gionta. Gionta, the former captain of the Montreal Canadiens, was looking for a new place to call home and the Sabres were willing to make the move.
The move, however, brought an interesting twist to it.
Before Gionta had signed with Buffalo, a face familiar to him was working on his own route to Buffalo where he had heard Gionta would be heading. And in a matter of moments the Sabres had acquired Josh Gorges and Gionta, both from the rival Canadiens, to help bolster the veteran presence.
Gorges didn't originally want to come to Buffalo. In fact, Gorges had a no-trade clause and was shocked to hear he was being shopped by Montreal. Buffalo wasn't on his list of acceptable landing spots but then he changed his mind.
“I got a call saying ‘are you interested’ and I said ‘yes,’ but what’s the point of being interested, he’s got a no-trade,” Sabres GM Tim Murray said. “They said that he had added us to the list of teams he would go to. It happened very quickly after I found that out. To me that speaks volumes. You can talk and talk and talk all you want. Actions speak louder than words and for him to do that … I didn’t call and ask him any questions about coming here. He put us on his list of teams that he’d go to and that told me everything.”
"[He's] thrilled to be able to come back," Murray said Tuesday. "He enjoyed his time here. We were his first choice, happy we reached out to him. He had choices and this is a place he wanted to be."