Skip to content

Nonis: There’s been talk of making Jake Gardiner a forward

Jun 19, 2014, 1:05 AM EST

Calgary Flames v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

Jake Gardiner, a talented defenseman but polarizing at times for the Toronto Maple Leafs, sure endured his share of struggles last season. He was a healthy scratch and had to deal with almost constant trade speculation.

And his training camp didn’t leave a favorable impression of head coach Randy Carlyle, so nothing like slumping into the doghouse before the season even gets underway.

And here’s something: According to a conversation between Toronto’s general manager Dave Nonis and Toronto Sun reporter Steve Buffery, there was talk of converting Gardiner to forward.

“He was a forward, he started as a forward. He played more of his formative years as a forward,” said Nonis.

“There’s been some talk of it, but I think he gives us an element at the back end that would be hard to replace. He can skate the puck out, pretty good on the power play. So I think right now, we would keep him back there, but …”

  1. beergold - Jun 19, 2014 at 5:41 AM

    And there is also talk of making Phil Kessel a plus sided two way player rather than the career -41 that he currently is! Oh those Laffs always entertaining off the ice!

  2. lowenni - Jun 19, 2014 at 7:26 AM

    I wouldn’t.

  3. garybrian - Jun 19, 2014 at 1:30 PM

    Several years ago the Leafs took another defenceman and turned him into a centre. Guy named Red Kelly. Did a pretty good job too!

  4. hosewater2 - Jun 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Just trade him before you turn him into a reclamation project.

  5. kfraser91 - Jun 19, 2014 at 1:42 PM

    Wings need to do this with Brendan Smith. He played a game or two at forward and looked great. Pretty much the only good plays he make are offensively anyways – his play in his own zone is mediocre at best.

Featured video

Eakins on his way out of Edmonton?

Sign up for Fantasy hockey

Top 10 NHL Player Searches
  1. P. Datsyuk (2483)
  2. V. Hedman (2418)
  3. S. Crosby (2338)
  4. P. Sharp (2177)
  5. D. Krejci (2048)
  1. B. Marchand (1836)
  2. Z. Chara (1764)
  3. B. Dubinsky (1699)
  4. S. Varlamov (1631)
  5. A. Tanguay (1612)