Rockets owner Bruce Hamilton congratulates Josh Gorges following Thursday's brief ceremony. (Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet)
Rockets owner Bruce Hamilton congratulates Josh Gorges following Thursday's brief ceremony. (Photo: Wayne Moore - Castanet)

Josh Gorges honoured by KMHA

by - Story: 56702

Kelowna Minor Hockey has added a second name to its Wall of Fame.

KMHA grad, former Kelowna Rocket captain and current Montreal Canadiens defenceman, Josh Gorges was given the honour Thursday.

Gorges, who began playing minor hockey in Kelowna in 1989, joins Kyle Beach on the Wall of Fame.

He played through the minor hockey system until 2000 when he cracked the Kelowna Rockets line-up as a 17-year-old undrafted rookie.

He captained the Rockets to the only Memorial Cup title in 2004.

Gorges says one of his fondest memories was a tournament he took part in as a peewee rookie.

"Going to Quebec was the first big tournament I ever played in where you are kind of in a spotlight. Not every gets to go, you had to win your way in," says Gorges.

"It brings back everything. When I was told they were going to be doing this I think about all the times when you're five, six years old and chasing pucks around and trying to score as many goals as you can," says Gorges.

Gorges says the honour was very humbling and very flattering.

"This is great. I grew up in this city and I was lucky enough to be part of Kelowna Minor Hockey which provided me with everything I needed to be where I am today. The path I took was a bit of an unconventional one but I had good people looking after me from the time I was five years old until I was 19 with the Rockets."

He credited both his parents and the minor hockey system with getting him where he is today.

"I had parents that were willing to get up at four in the morning and drive me to those 5 o'clock practices and tournaments and spend the money on new equipment. I'm lucky because I don't think a lot of kids had the same opportunity I had. Along with that, I think Kelowna Minor Hockey has always put together good coaches and good programs to help coaches learn how to teach kids."

Although only 26 and heading into the prime of his NHL career, Gorges says he's honoured that, just as he had people to look up to when he was young, kids now look up to him in that same way.

"Sometimes it's a little nerve wracking to think that every move you make is under the microscope so you always have to be on your toes, but I think it's a responsibility that comes with what we do and I am very proud of that responsibility. To have anyone look up to you and try to emulate what you've done is very honouring."

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