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Leafs GM doesn’t ‘see any hiccups’ in talks with Gardiner

Jul 27, 2014, 8:55 AM EDT

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Jake Gardiner Getty Images

The Toronto Maple Leafs have one more piece of in-house business to take care of after getting James Reimer signed to a two-year deal and that’s with restricted free agent Jake Gardiner.

Gardiner, 24, is coming off his entry-level contract and likely headed towards a bridge deal with the Leafs. As Kevin McGran of The Toronto Star shared, Leafs GM Dave Nonis isn’t worried about getting the blue liner re-signed.

“Talks are on-going,” Nonis said. “Things are going fine. I don’t see any hiccups there.”

According to CapGeek.com, the Leafs have $4.3 million in cap space now that they’ve got Reimer’s deal done. With that kind of cushion, the Leafs have plenty of room to work out a short-term deal with the young defenseman.

Last season, Gardiner had 10 goals and 31 points in 80 games and averaged 21:05 of ice time per game. He’s valuable and is someone the team wants to see develop a stronger defensive game. For now, he and fellow youngster Morgan Rielly are their two best puck-carriers and players the organization wants to see step up next season.

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