Would the Leafs trade Jake Gardiner?

A great skater who put up 30 points in his rookie season, 23-year-old defenseman Jake Gardiner is a tantalizing talent. And according to TSN’s Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs are likely to trade him.

“I think there’s a better chance of him getting traded, just because of the continued interest,” Dreger said this morning on TSN 1050 radio (audio). “At some point, I think that Toronto’s needs are going to equal what teams are going to be willing to pay.

“Since the start of the season until now, the asking price has been very high, and we know what it is – it’s a top-six forward.

“But I think [general manager] Dave Nonis would also consider a flip of defense. It’s going to have to be a quality defenseman, because if he’s considering trading Jake Gardiner, then he needs something very, very good in return.”

One team that Dreger knows has interest is the New York Rangers. (Though apparently general manager Glen Sather may covet Cody Franson more, if only because Franson shoots right and Gardiner shoots left.)


70 Responses to Would the Leafs trade Jake Gardiner?

  1. mojo19 says:

    I would only trade Jake for a “Top 6 forward” if that forward is a centre who is a definite upgrade on Kadri, Bozak, and Bolland. Or at least a potential upgrade. Jake is somewhat unproven so I could see a fair swap being Jake for a young 21-23 year old centre who’s shown flashes and has upside to be a star. Essentially a Jake equivalent up front.

    • LN91 says:

      It kind of annoys me that Kadri refuses to work hard, win faceoffs, and play any offence or defence.

      • mojo19 says:

        I think Kadri has a ton of talent, but he’s destined to be a Derek Roy or Mike Ribeiro type of 2/3 offensive, fancy centre. Doesn’t mean he won’t throw the odd hit, or draw a bunch of penalties and be effective in a lot of ways, but he’s never going to be a legitimate go-to 1st line centre on any type of competitive team.

        • LN91 says:

          That’s a good point…It’s ironic. Last year, looks like he had finally broken out…And i think everyone knew he would regress somewhat this year.

          But to be invisible and completely irrelevant in games? Being dominated by 18-year old rookies? Now, that’s where the concern comes in.

          • mojo19 says:

            Ya, Naz is pretty flakey. I guess Burke was way off when he went on about Naz’s “character” and what a great head he has on his shoulders when Naz was drafted.

            • LN91 says:

              Yeah, highlight of the 2nd 24/7 series is when Crosby refers to Kadri as a joke.

              • leafmeister says:

                Give me a break. That whole line has struggled. If anything Kadri is the only one noticeable. He is always on the forecheck and trying to make something happen. Kessel has been totally invisible lately.

                Kadri sells his injuries, but that is just part of his game, and Crosby is obviously gonna take issue with it.

                The whole team has to pick up their game. We shouldn’t be putting it all on a 23 year old sophomore center who is suddenly the subject of the other teams top defensive pairs.

                • leafmeister says:

                  That said, out of curiousity:

                  To NYR: Kadri, Gardiner
                  To TOR: Del Zotto, Stepan

                  Would you?

                  • LN91 says:

                    Yeah, probably…I really like Stepan and he’s an upgrade over Kadri. He’s the future of NYR, I doubt they would do it.

                    Del Zotto is a downgrade from Gardiner…Pretty much the same player, but I think Gardiner can be better two-way then MZD.

                    • lafleur10 says:

                      actually mdz is further ahead in his development and is really solid definsively i think they are very similar type dmen mdz is further ahead in his development

                    • mapleleafsfan says:

                      lol, MDZ “really solid defensively”? Not sure that sentence has ever been written before.
                      MDZ has some solid offensive potential, but to say the guy is good defensively is just plain wrong. When an offensive defenceman is scratched on a team that can’t score a goal, you know somethings wrong.
                      As for development, MDZ is more established for sure. Gardiner has surpassed him now though. He’s putting up more points, plays more minutes and has a better +/- on a worse defensive team.

                      Stepan > Kadri though, so that trade wouldn’t happen. Can’t see NYR trading Stepan unless it’s a clear win of a trade.

                  • lafleur10 says:

                    you wouldn’t get stpan out of the rangers for kadri alone it would be kadri + if think not just look at what the rangers want for delzotto they want gardiner+ or franson + sather asks the world

                  • reinjosh says:

                    I’d think about it but would probably say no.

                    I don’t see Stepan as that much of an upgrade on Kadri. Yes he’s miles better defensively but I’m not a fan of Del Zotto and I see that as a downgrade from Gards.

                    I’m probably biased, so take my opinion with a grain of salt.

          • reinjosh says:

            I think we need to be careful when pointing out only Kadri for being invisible. It would be a difference if it was only him. But it’s not. It’s pretty much most of the team right now.

            He’s still right there on the paces of Bolland’s 54 and Bozak’s 56 (Kadri has 53).

        • reinjosh says:

          As an aside and completely meant to be a purely objective and top down look on stats without using them to argue one way or another about Kadri, he’s actually 2nd behind only Clarkson for hits by forwards on the team. He’s also 14th in the league for penalties drawn per 60.

          In case anyone is interested. Seriously, I’m not trying to use these to defend Kadri (I’m sure some will probably think that, and I don’t blame you. I’m clearly the most ardent Kadri supporter here).

          It’s interesting considering he was 10th on the team last year in hits with 62 in 48 games. This year he’s 5th on the team with 70 in 34 games. It’s interesting to see that and then see his PIM numbers are up as well. Could be an potential explanation for that? He’s trying to be more gritty, hitting more and taking more penalties (dumb or not) because of it.

          It’s also pretty interesting to look at penalties drawn numbers. It seems that the most accomplished players at this tend to be the more rough players in the league. Perry with 22, Ott with 17, Andrew Shaw has 18, Toews has 17, Galiardi has 16, Foligno (CBJ) has 18, Roussel has 24, Perron has twenty, Huberdeau has 20, Upshall has 20, Dustin Brown has 20, PK Subban has 17, Clutterbuck has 16, Dorsett has 24, TUrris has 17, Giroux has 19, Hartnell 17, Steen has 24, Backes has 16, Filpullas has 18.

          What’s interesting is most of those players have equal, near equal or negative differentials in penalties taken.

          Only Filpulla, Giroux, Steen, Toews, Perry, Galiardi, Huberdeau, Turris and Kadri have bigger than a positive 3 differential.

          • leafmeister says:

            We could not disagree more about Dion, but I think we agree that the Kadri hate on here is plain stupid.

            He is essentially a sophomore, and his production hasn’t even been that bad. Right now, with the exception of whatever line Lupul is on (sometimes, Toronto is pretty much a one line team. Last year Kadri never got that kind of defensive attention, and it has not helped that Phil’s play has dropped off of late too.

            He is still effective on the forecheck, and he clearly gets under guys skin, and draws a lot of penalties. Whether he develops into a 1st line center, or a second line center (I think the latter is more likely), I really think he has a bright future here.

            • reinjosh says:

              I agree completely. The hate (or dislike) on for him is a little ridiculous

              As a tangent, while I still disagree on a majority of you’re opinions on Dion, I’m warming up to them…slowly haha.

      • reinjosh says:

        As much as I like kadri and won’t back down on his potential of being a number 1 center, I fully agree he’s going to need some growth in his game and work ethic before that happens.

  2. leafmeister says:

    These guys need to watch some fuckin Coaches Corner. Every asshole and their dog knows you don’t pass up a shot in O.T. Twice Phaneuf drives into the corner where no play can be made and he had a reasonably good shot, and then Kulemin has a step, and a chance to get a clear shot on Gustovsson and he tries to pass through 2 guys instead. Retarded.

    Should be a good Winter Classic though.

    • mojo19 says:

      Ya I couldn’t believe Kulemin passed that off.

      Speaking of Kulemin, he has really stepped up the last couple of weeks. I liked that spin play off the boards to walk right out front in the 2nd period, very nice. He’s looked more dynamic than he’s been in the last couple of years.

  3. LN91 says:

    Andreas Johnson (pronounced Johnsson) just sniped again for Sweden over Canada. The guy is killing it!!!

    • reinjosh says:

      He’s not just killing it in the prelim games. He’s killing it in Sweden. He’s 17th in the Swedish Hockey League’s scoring (which is the top league in Sweden for any who don’t know. Used to be called the SEL), but he’s also 7th in goals scored. And this is his rookie season no less.

      Him and Verghaeghe are looking like some great picks by the Toronto scouting staff this past year.

      Finn and Brown have been pretty damn good in teh OHL this season too.

      It will be nice to see Johnson at the WJC. Having 3 goals and 1 assist in two prelims against the US and Canada is a pretty nic start for him.

  4. lafleur10 says:

    desharnias is a top 6 forward leafs could use him he’s a center that could help them and he’s be an upgrade over what they have at center… would you guys be interested?

  5. reinjosh says:

    I think I’m going to seek out and punch a baby penguin in the face if Nonis trades Jake Gardiner, Morgan Rielly, Nazem Kadri, Phil Kessel, and James Van Riemsdyk (Jonathan Bernier and James Reimer probably make the list of rades resulting in baby penguin punching).

    Caveat. No baby penguins will be harmed when if one of the above is traded for a sub-30 all-star, sub 30 budding all star, or similar talented and equally or highly potential laden young players (subjective yes, deal with it).

    Don’t do it Dave Nonis. Don’t make me harm baby penguins. You don’t want little baby penguin tears staining your hands. Don’t be a monster.

    • leafmeister says:

      As far as those players go, they are not all equally untouchable.

      1) JVR – he, his age, his chemistry with Phil and his contract are just too good.
      2) Rielly – He is going to be Toronto’s best defensemen very, very soon.
      3) Kadri – A unique talent who I’d only trade for a center of comparable skill and potential, but perhaps with a better all-around game.
      4) Gardiner – I’d only trade him for a forward (preferably center) of comparable skill and age, but I think a defence including him and Rielly in their prime could really help our puck possession issues.
      5) Bernier – I think he is slightly better than Reimer, and more importantly, is signed at a good price through next year.
      6) Reimer – A perfect 1b goalie with the potential for more, but if the right deal comes along, Nonis should be open to it.

      I won’t threaten animal cruelty, since I would probably have to go through with it, but I will feel similar rage to what you are talking about if Nonis resigns Phaneuf for 7×7 with an NMC.

      • reinjosh says:

        Oh I agree. I’m not one to let my love of a certain player bias me against trading them. I’m far too machiavellian to do that. Without a doubt any player can be traded. However I think the players I listed are very good pieces that we can use to move forward and build a lasting core that is cup competitive year in and year out in the future.

        I think I’d agree with you on all of the points, although I’d say Reimer and Bernier are even

  6. LN91 says:

    Team Canada sucks…Their player selection is horrid.

    2 straight years ignore some of the highest scorers in the OHL, let alone CHL.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Agreed. Would be really nice to have Rielly, Mack and Monohan there too. Our goalies are just the worst every year now. 0 faith in either of these guys.

    • reinjosh says:

      Uh they currently have the highest scoring player in the CHL. Mantha has the most points of any CHL player.

      Reinhart and Petan make up some of the highest scoring eligible Canadian CHL players too. Plus Laughton and Drouin, while not leaders yet, have some of the highest PPG rates of any CHL players in all three leagues.

      Really the only players they left out who could be considered high scoring are Dal Colle and Brown. Dal Colle as a 2014 eligible was always going to be a hard sell to make the team, and although he has more points than Reinhart, he doesnt’ have Reinhart’s versatility and all around game.

      Brown really was a surprise to not be picked, especially considering his biggest asset has always been how hard he works and his drive to compete every shift. But his skating was always going to be his downside, especially with the bigger ice. He probably should have made this team.

      Canada has a pretty potential laden lineup offensively with Hudon, Laughton, Reinhart, McDavid, Drouin, Mantha, Petan, Rychel, Lazar and Horvat.

      Drouin, Rychel, Mantha, Petan all have past seasons of 40 plus goals plus Lazar, Hudon, Reinhart, Horvat all have past seasons of 30 plus goals. Petan, Reinhart, McDavid, Laughton, Mantha, and Drouin all have 50 plus points currently in their respective leagues.

      This team is far from lacking offensive talent.

      • LN91 says:

        I’ve watched every game so far..Most of them have been invisible. I expected more from Mantha, but he has been disappointing. Also, so has Laughton.

        I believe Hudon will be the 13th forward (as he was today_, I’m still looking for him in a game, same with Leier.

        I like Horvat, McDavid, Sam Reinhart, Curits Lazar…Drouin is alright, same with Petan.

        Anderson-Gauthier are only in defensive purposes…So, they’re pretty much only in the defensive end.

        Oh well, this is Sweden’s to lose. They owned Canada already and apparently Filip Forsberg and Elias Lindholm are coming from the NHL this week.

  7. leafmeister says:

    Either Carlyle encourages this team to have bi-polar periods, or a vein in his head should be exploding. This dominance occurs every single fucking game. The Rangers are not exactly a power house of a team either.

  8. leafmeister says:

    Lottery team with a couple of goalies. That is what we are watching. Embrace it, and think about the future. Fuck this team.

    • LN91 says:

      Nonis was stupid in super-spending…We have to live with Clarkson, but he bought too much into a shortened season and tried to make a contender too fast. 82>48 game season…Oh well, slight tweaks if they are not in contention by the trade deadline…Kulemin and Raymond should fetch something decent.

      I think it would be dumb to lock-up Phaneuf before then.

      • leafmeister says:

        I’d gladly miss the playoffs this year if it meant trading Phaneuf and seriously retooling for next year.

        This team has a decent enough core (minus Neon Dion), and they are young, and we have to be patient, but my god, they are torture to watch.

        • LN91 says:

          I think I have mentioned 100 times that I kind of wish the lockout lasted all season, haha.

          The Leafs would have probably got a top-10 pick once again through the ball system and a choice of MacKinnon, Barkov, Monahan, Wennberg, or Lindholm.

          All have been impressive in their young careers.

          • leafmeister says:

            I know I bring this up a lot, but can we run Phaneuf out of town? That is one of a VERY few things that Toronto fans are good at. Time for the boo birds to come out.

            Not that he was particularly bad tonight, but seriously, name something outrageous for me to do, film, and post online, and I will do it if I am wrong about resigning Phaneuf.

  9. leafmeister says:

    What a waste of an unreal goaltending effort. Carlyle should let Bernier yell at those fucking bums.

    • LN91 says:

      It would be horrible if Nonis traded away his first-round pick…Actually, the worst move as Leafs GM.

      • leafmeister says:

        Yeah that pick will be looking mighty yummy as of February. There are a few promising looking centres in the top 10. Keep: Kadri, JVR, Kessel, Gardiner, Rielly, Bernier, and Holland. Other than that, open season.

        • LN91 says:

          I wonder what you can get for Kulemin and Raymond?

          • leafmeister says:

            If not a late 1st, then I’d hope a package of later picks each.

            What about Dion?

            • LN91 says:

              Well, if Dion were to be traded…It would need to be huge to make it worthwhile.

              A 1st, top-prospect, and roster player…Preferably a defencemen.

              You would need to refer to the Brent Burns, Chris Pronger, and Jay Bouwmeester trades to determine value.

              Simply dealing Phaneuf for a 1st round pick is idiotic…It would need to be something the Leafs can build from.

              The future of the D is not bleak…As all the Leafs prospects are on D, but it will take awhile.

              • leafmeister says:

                I disagree. I’d sooner lose Phaneuf for nothing than resign him 7×7 with an NMC.

                Not that Nonis should go into negotiations with that kind of mindset, but I cry at the thought of Dion signed long term. This team will win exactly what they have won in the past 47 years with Phaneuf as captain, or even as the #1 defensemen.

                • leafy says:

                  I like the way you guys think.

                  • leafmeister says:

                    Not to pile on old Dion, but what was with his comments to the media about being satisfied with the effort they are giving? How, as captain, can he possibly say that?

                    The effort given by the Leafs on a nightly basis is as bad as I have ever seen it. Worse than 2009/10 when they finished 2nd last, and worse than the collapse in 2012. Goaltending is the only reason they aren’t down with Buffalo, New York and Edmonton.

                    Of course, the saving grace is that they are not yet buried, and when guys start coming back from injuries they could possibly turn it around. I am not optimistic though.

                    I really hope Nonis comes to his senses regarding Phaneuf.

  10. lafleur10 says:


  11. LN91 says:

    I hope you guys all got the same amount of presents as Paul Ranger brings on a nightly basis…Nothing.

    Merry Christmas.

  12. LN91 says:

    I went to the Marlies-Bulldogs game today at the ACC!!! Was actually fun!!!

    I really liked watching Greg McKegg…Defensively and offensively, he was the Marlies most important player. Really good at taking faceoffs as well.

    Guys like MacWilliam (shutdown menace), Percy, and Granberg also stood out for the Marlies.

  13. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    This is just a discussion starter and not meant towards anyone in particular.

    For the past 5 years I have seen on here all the talk about our draft picks and how great they will be, but if you look at the Leaf roster, most important players we have were traded for or FA’s. We have not developed too many of these so-called “great picks” over the past 5 years.

    Kessel-trade, JVR-trade, Bozak-FA, Lupul-trade, Bolland-trade, Clarkson-FA, McClement-trade, Phaneuf-trade, Franson-trade, Gardiner-trade, Bernier-trade, 2nd tiers, Raymond-trade, Orr-trade, Fraser-trade, Fraser-FA?, Ranger-FA, Holland-trade.
    Kadri, Reimer, Rielly, Gunnarsson and Kulimen are all we have been able to really develop. Kadri-jury still out, Reimer-prob a #1 but not elite, Rielly-should be great, but too early to tell, Gunnar- developed well, but really a 3-5 guy, Kulimen-never reached potential, but solid 3rd liner. This is hardly enough to build around. I know there are some still coming up…but the same was said about Schenn, D’Amigo, Abbott, Holzer, McKegg, Ryan etc and some we just traded away because they didn’t seem to develop.
    I still believe we need to go trade route at this point. we have some good pieces but I really don’t think the mix is right, especially on D.

    Just for discussion then and since Dion keeps coming up in whether he should be moved or re-signed…

    would you do?

    To NYR
    Phaneuf, Percy

    To Toronto
    Girardi, Del Zotto, Boyle

    • LN91 says:

      Toronto has all FA’s and traded players because they needed to do that with a lack of high picks…When they actually had picks between rounds 1-4. They’ve done a good job.


      1- Tuuka Rask (Boston)
      3- Phil Oreskovic


      1- Jiri Tlusty (Carolina = Top-6)
      2- Nikolai Kulemin (Leafs)
      4- James Reimer (Leafs)
      4- Korbinian Holzer (Marlies)


      3- Dale Mitchell
      4- Matt Frattin (Kings)
      4- Ben Winnett


      1- Luke Schenn (Flyers)
      2- Jimmy Hayes (Panthers)
      4- Mikhail Stefanovich

      7/12 players are in the NHL or 58%

      • realistic_leafs_fan says:

        My point was…there aren’t many prior picks with the Leafs and most are not impact players except Rask. No offence, I hardly call that success. Drafting a bunch of 3rd and 4th liners and 5-7 d-men is not usually considered successful drafting with 1-4th round picks. We are not built on the draft and do not have up-coming developing picks that look like impact guys other than Rielly. Hardly great drafting.

        • LN91 says:

          And why is Reilly a top-talent? It’s because he went top-5 in the draft. Toronto has never been in the position to draft a top-talent so it’s merely impossible to get one. It’s why they will always be mediocre.

          Look around the league, most stars (including a Kessel and JVR) came in the top-5. The one year the Leafs did have a chance at a generational talent (Seguin)…They traded it away.

          With the crappy selections the Leafs have had…They have done well. That is the sign of a decent drafting team.

          It’s a viscious cycle the Leafs have created and they will be mediocre because of it. Who out there is available for trade that will make this squad a contender? Honestly?

          • leafmeister says:

            Well, I actually think Paul Stastny would go a long way to putting this team up there with Boston/Pittsburgh. Say they let Dion walk, and sign Stastny, Girardi, and say, Matt Greene.

            JVR – Stastny – Kessel
            Lupul – Kadri – Bozak
            Kulemin – Bolland – Clarkson
            Biggs – McClement – Bodie

            Girardi – Gardiner
            Greene – Rielly
            Franson – Gunnarsson


          • mapleleafsfan says:

            While I agree it’s hard when you’re not picking high, that’s not entirely true. From Centers alone (only position we really care about):

            Giroux – 22nd
            Datsyuk – 171st
            Zetterberg (if he counts as a C) – 210th
            Kopitar – 11th
            Getzlaf – 19th
            Krejci – 63rd
            Kesler – 23rd
            Pavelski – 205th
            Backes – 62nd
            Bergeron – 45th
            M Richards – 24th
            Stastny – 44th.

            Now some of those aren’t 1Cs, but at the very least they are all top level 2Cs and would be 1Cs on other teams in the league. They are all, or have all been considered all-stars at some point. That’s around 1/3rd of the league, with around another 3rd not even having 1Cs.

            Hell, add any of those guys to the Leafs and we’re a pretty competitive team. It’s a crap shoot, and requires good/luck scouting, but some seriously elite players come later in the draft. Hell, probably the only players in the league I’d take over Getzlaf are Malkin and Crosby.

            • LN91 says:

              I agree…I’m just looking at the top-20 in NHL scoring and realizing that atleast 13 players are drafted in the top-5 alone. Sometimes a team will luck out, but it’s not guaranteed.

              A 2nd-line center is more realistically found after the 1st-round…And I do not doubt that Toronto has drafted one or can develop Kadri into one.

              Also, it’s not like the Leafs can realisiticaly trade for most of those players so what other option do they have and draft?

              • mapleleafsfan says:

                No I agree, you gotta draft one. I just hope we get lucky and find a late round gem.

                • realistic_leafs_fan says:

                  I said impact players on our team LN91. What impact players have we drafted? Rielly is almost a given, but not there yet and not just because he was a high draft pick, you can see it in his talent and hockey sense. Kadri should be a 2nd line centre, but I’m still not sold on him mentally.
                  Most teams have impact players they drafted, whether it be centre, wing, D or in goal and not only with top 5 picks. We have none to few at the moment was my point…so I don’t consider that successful drafting when you look around the league at what other teams have drafted and developed through all rounds, not just the first.
                  Plus, we have only 1 player in the top 50 in scoring, never mind the top 20…that’s success?

    • leafmeister says:

      I’d be all over that.

      JVR – Bozak – Kessel
      Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson
      Raymond – Boyle – Kulemin
      Smithson – McClement – Bodie

      Girardi – Gardiner
      Rielly – Franson
      Gunnarsson – Del Zotto

      That would allow some serious wiggle room regarding moving Gardiner, should that become necessary in the off-season.

Leave a Reply