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Sabres' Gorges plans to change how he serves as a leader

Josh Gorges’ season ended in February because of a knee injury, so the defenseman has had a lot of time to analyze his subpar year. He's decided to change the way he’ll handle himself off the ice.

“I think I took too much onus on the responsibility of being a leader when I was brought here, that it was my job to do everything,” Gorges, who served as an alternate captain after being acquired from Montreal, said Tuesday. “I think first and foremost, my job is to go out there and do my job. I’ve got to go out there and play hockey and play at a high level and be a leader in how I play the game.

“I’m always going to be a vocal guy because that’s just in my nature. I think if things need to be said or done, I don’t have a problem doing it, but I don’t think we’re going to need as much of that this year.”

Gorges was one of the few voices of experience in the dressing room last season. He says the additions of David Legwand, Ryan O’Reilly, Zack Bogosian and others will stop him from forcing any comments.

“For myself, it’s just being who I am and nothing more than that,” Gorges said.

The 31-year-old is healthy after microfracture surgery and has no restrictions on his knee, other than those he’s placed on himself. He’s changed his fitness routine to eliminate jumping and activities that grind on his knee.

“With the surgery I had, there’s just no need for it anymore,” Gorges said. “Every time you do a little bit more like that, it’s just harder and harder on your body. Not that I’m super old, but I’m starting to get up there. The most important thing is what you can do on the ice, and as long as I can do everything on the ice, then I’m good.”

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