It can’t be true, can it? According to Elliotte Friedman the Toronto Maple Leafs are having ” some level of conversation going on” about Jake Gardiner, and it’s obvious why. He and Randy Carlyle aren’t on the same page and it is clear Carlyle is not happy with his performance. Carlyle has upset his fair share of players and doesn’t seem like a players coach. You have to earn the minutes under Carlyle, and it should be like that. However once you’re in Carlyle’s doghouse, you stay there. Gardiner has a lot of work to do to prove that he deserves to play in the NHL. He’s shown he has the skill (5 points in 6 games against Boston in the Playoffs) to play with the Big Boys, it’s just the matter playing consistently at that level. Having arguably the same player in Rielly waiting in the wings to play every day doesn’t help his chances though.
However Elliotte did have to say this:
This is very good news. We wouldn’t want Gardiner to be sold low just because of a couple of bad games. The man oozes potential to be a #1/2 defenseman. If he were to be traded, it would have to be for young assets the Leafs could use. Potential trade targets that seem to make sense to me would be to Colorado and Philadelphia. Colorado has way too many centers and were just recently in the market for a young defenseman, exactly like Gardiner. Could they be willing to move a name like Matt Duchene or Ryan O’Reilly? The former would cost a lot more than Gardiner and the latter wouldn’t be allowed to be traded till February thanks to signing the Offer Sheet Calgary presented to him (even though Colorado matched it) . So I’ll make the safe bet and say unless it’s for Paul Stastny, no deal with Colorado is getting done.
So how about Philadelphia? Would that crazy General Manager of the Flyers risk losing another trade with Toronto? In short yes, but I even with their defense as terrible as it is, I can’t see Holmgren parting with anything that Nonis would want. Courtier would be target #1, and in reality he is the only player I would want from Philly (other than Giroux, but y’know, who doesn’t?).
So the logical answer from this whole mess is to just wait and see what happens. No rush to trade Gardiner from a team that is 3-0. He could explode one game, and then take off from there. Let’s hope it’s sooner rather than later.
Oh and one more thing…