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Gardiner trade speculation heats up in Toronto

Oct 8, 2013, 12:12 PM EDT

Jake Gardiner Getty Images

No shortage of trade talk in Toronto after the CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reported Saturday (video) and yesterday in his weekly 30 Thoughts column that Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner may be available.

14. There is definitely some level of conversation going on between other teams and Toronto involving Jake Gardiner. I despise the word “shopped,” as it’s more like a feeling-out process. If the Maple Leafs do decide to do it, it’s going to be for a young asset or assets. So, you have to look at teams with talented young players. This is PURELY my speculation, but if teams like Dallas, Florida or Minnesota would be interested, you could see a match.

15. The Gardiner talk surprised me, because he was so impressive against Boston in last year’s playoffs. There are scouts who still have questions, but most agree that he has a valuable skill — he can skate the puck out of trouble.

In response to the above, the Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle sees a Gardiner trade as something the Leafs might consider if they can get the right return:

They’ve got a lot of similar elements in their top six, and they’re not particularly heavy on Randy Carlyle elements.

By that I mean the Leafs now have three cheap, young defencemen you would describe as offence-first, defence-second (Franson, Gardiner and Morgan Rielly) and really only two shutdown types (Carl Gunnarsson and Mark Fraser).

The only physical with a capital P options on the blueline, meanwhile, are Phaneuf and Fraser, the latter of whom is probably best suited for a No. 7 role and limited minutes.

But Mirtle brings up an important point — the Leafs are right up against the salary cap, and moving Gardiner would only free up $875,000 of space.

Gardiner, 23, is a tantalizing talent, particularly for his skating ability. His decision-making has been questionable at times, but that’s the case for a lot of young defensemen.

  1. withseidelinn - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:29 PM

    I wonder what kind of player they could get for him.

  2. stcrowe - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:42 PM

    I have never thought that he was anything special. He is talented and should have a good NHL career, but some in Leafs Nation talk about him like he is a future superstar. He seems not to be Randy Carlyle’s cup of tea. What the Leafs really still need is a Centre.

  3. mathieug79 - Oct 8, 2013 at 12:46 PM

    I think Gardiner would be a great fit for Tampa Bay.

    • kingjoffrey19 - Oct 8, 2013 at 2:10 PM

      we will gladly take Drouin off of your hands…

      • mathieug79 - Oct 8, 2013 at 2:12 PM

        LOL as if

      • themagicman1223 - Oct 8, 2013 at 3:46 PM

        Are you that clueless are you just kidding? I hope it’s the latter because there’s no way in hell Gardiner gets you Drouin…

    • jb8588 - Oct 8, 2013 at 3:54 PM

      I couldn’t agree more. Back in the day, there was much more scrutiny to Dan Boyle’s play and we landed him for a 5th round pick from FLA of all teams. And I watched Gardiner play in Hershey during the lockout, and I personally have never seen a d-man have the puck on his stick so much in one game and control the tempo of the game like he did. TB needs him for sure…Yzerman better be on this to make up for his other blunders.

      • kingjoffrey19 - Oct 8, 2013 at 4:25 PM

        Calm down people, was clearly just kidding. Crazy how riled up people get on this site about nothing

  4. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 8, 2013 at 3:07 PM

    Makes sense. Morgan Rielly is looking great, and with Phaneuf and Franson already staples on the team, you only need that many offensive dmen.

    If they package Gardiner, Reimer, Kadri, and however many 1st round picks it takes they might finally be able to get the 1st line center they’ve needed for years.

    • lowenni - Oct 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      Riiiiight….trade a potential top 2 defenseman, a starting goalie, and a potential 1st line center FOR a 1st line center. And why not throw in some first round picks? That makes sense…

      Just look at NY last year with Rick Nash and you see what happens when you trade away quality depth for a superstar.It doesn’t work. Look at Philly’s passage to Quebec for Eric Lindros. Quebec/Colorado definitely ended up on the better side of that trade. You, sir, should not become a general manager.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Oct 8, 2013 at 7:25 PM

        Oh, You mean that trade that also made Philly a cup contender? You seem to forget how good that Flyers team was with Lindros in his prime. People don’t remember how good that team was before he got creamed by Scott Stevens?

        If the Leafs could package these guys to get a guy like Claude Giroux, John Tavares or Gino Malkin, I’d do it in a second. Trading “potential” top 4 dman and a “potential” top 6 forward and a “maybe” starting goalie for a legit all star player would be worth it.

  5. kane987245 - Oct 8, 2013 at 4:12 PM

    In my mind, even though the potential type of player you could get for him is tantalizing, why change a thing right now? This is a good problem to have. Yes, you want to have a set roster with none of them wanting to worry about security, but you have a great dynamic defense atm.

    RIDE THIS OUT!

    If the Leafs make it back to the playoffs with the Division they have in this new system, their DEF is going to be one of the best for years to come.

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