Leafs, Gardiner Working On Bridge Deal?

Jeff Veillette (Jeffler)
June 24 2014 05:45PM

According to a report from Chris Johnston, the Toronto Maple Leafs are in talks with Jake Gardiner regarding a two-year contract extension.

Wait, What?

This is certainly a turn of events from the talks that the Leafs are actively shopping the 23 year old defenceman. Though, who knows how much of that was merely a public means of testing the market? If there's no fit, there are much worse things you can do than keep one of your best players.

Through 80 games this year, Gardiner put up 10 goals and 31 points. He was also Toronto's best possession player over the course of the season, putting up a 46.4 CF%, highest on the team and a +5.7 relative to his teammates. Gardiner also boasted a positive penalty differential, and put up all of these numbers without being significantly above average in offensive zone starts.

These are all reasons to be optimistic for his continued growth. Ideally, you'd like to sign a guy like this long-term, but with Toronto's current cap situation and speculation that they're looking at bringing in some bigger names, its no shock that they're opting for the bridge. Johnston speculates that the landing price will be somewhere between $2.25 and $3 million per season.

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#1 Skill2Envy
June 24 2014, 11:44PM
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Well on the positive, we keep Gardiner?!

But I think he would look better at $4M x 5, the kid will be good and the deal would be good for the Leafs long term.

I guess we should thank Nonis and Clarkson for this cap situation.

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#2 Cam Charron
June 25 2014, 01:27AM
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The problem if you sign Jake Gardiner long-term at this point in his career is that if you give Gardiner a long-term deal, then Morgan Rielly will want one too.

Wait, why is that a problem?

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#3 Bertly83
June 25 2014, 06:40AM
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i like these bridge deals. doesn't kill the cap and gives the player more drive to get better and get the big money next time around.

so bridge for gards.

once rielly is up for his, bridge him.

then once that's all done, give them max term.

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#4 Mike Fahmy
June 25 2014, 09:28AM
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The Bridge Contract is a great tool for a Cap heavy team like the Leafs and it also puts a little bit more motivation into Kadri who is signed to a bridge contract and Gardiner to Become better players to get a big pay out on their next deals

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#5 STAN
June 25 2014, 10:20AM
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The Leafs top two possession players are Kadri and Gardiner. So it makes sense that Randy Carlyle has little use for them.

Stickhandle? Keep the puck? Refuse to give the puck to the other side?

What sort of game plan is that?

The brilliant management team, SHANONIS, has already spoken by giving the hapless Carlyle another three seasons.

Insane.

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