Mirtle: Could the Leafs really trade Jake Gardiner?

That basic description also applies to both Gardiner and Rielly, and with Gardiner – for all his talents – still more unpredictable than Carlyle wants, that could make him another odd-man out.

The problem here is that the Leafs really don’t have any cap space – it’s getting down into five digits territory – so they can’t exactly move Gardiner for a more established centre or defenceman (their two biggest needs) that makes more than his modest base salary ($875,000).

That means swapping a young player for a young player, and in the case of Gardiner – who barely played in the NHL last season due to concussion, consistency and coaching issues – they’d be selling low.

For all the good in their first three games, it’s also pretty clear that the Leafs would benefit from an upgrade on the blueline. As always, Phaneuf remains tasked with too much, and the unit in general looks like one that’s making only $15.7-million.

If moving Gardiner meant they could add a two-way defender that could log tough minutes and ease the burden on Phaneuf and Gunnarsson, it might make some sense. Given that’s not possible, the best course of action is probably to live through some of these growing pains and allow the blueline to be more of a skilled, skating one than Carlyle would typically want.

http://www.theglobeandmail.com/sports/hockey/leafs-beat/could-the-leafs-really-trade-jake-gardiner/article14740880/#dashboard/follows/


76 Responses to Mirtle: Could the Leafs really trade Jake Gardiner?

  1. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    The biggest issue I see with the Leafs D is a lack of grit and intimidation. Gardiner has none of the above, Rielly very little, Franson, Ranger and Gunnar are about the same, Dion is trying to play a more simple game over going for big hits and Fraser is out.
    There is a lack of toughness on the backend and they are not hard to play against. I doubt any opposing forwards fear going into the corners against Leaf defencemen. Franson has been the hardest hitter so far and that is not the best part of his game.
    Trading Gardiner likely won’t solve the problem unless we are wiling to move another player with him to open cap space or actually move Liles first. Leafs D needs to be a little meaner and harder to play against.

    • reinjosh says:

      Missing Clarkson and Fraser hurts. It takes a huge chunk of our toughness right out of the team. I could care less about McClaren because I just prefer my tougness to actually be able to play hockey.

      Trading Gardiner to fix our toughness problem seems like a deal fraught with risk. It’s shortsighted. We need more toughness yes, but trading a kid with the potential of Gardiner seems like a stupid way to get it.

      I think we honestly need to work through this. Wait until Fraser is back and then let Nilsson and MacWilliam develop. I’m much more willing to develop toughness than trade for it.

      • mojo19 says:

        I don’t care for the whole “I prefer my toughness to actually play hockey”.

        McLaren can play well enough. He chipped in 3 goals in 35 games last year. I know it’s not much, but its not like we put skates on a UFC fighter. Little respect for the guy. McLaren has some good games.

        Colton Orr has been pretty good on the attack the last couple of games. He’s been involved in cycles and has been driving the net and contributing like a regular 4th line grinder. I really don’t have a problem with these guys. Just because they happen to be amazing fighters, they’re still hockey players.

  2. kessel_leafs81 says:

    I agree, when kulimen and clarkson come back we will be way tougher upfront and provide more evenly distributed offense. I really like the way reilly has been playing and do not like ranger. Personally i think hes awful. We have him on the power play too which i do not like. He doesnt have that great of shot and not good enough hands, vision or passing to be a powerplay quarterback on our second unit. I think gardiner is playing so bad because he doesnt have any confidence in his dpartner and trying to do too much. Gardiner does have to shoot faster tho and stop hesitating. But how about johnathon bernier? Does he remind anybody else of curtis joseph? stacking the pads and flashing the glove. Love it. Very high hopes for him. We need fraser back tho.

    closer to the deadline i can see us going after an expiring contract cheap rental player that will toughen up our defence and provide leadership like henrik tallinder?

    Trade 2nd and maybe a low prospect for tallinder. Trade ranger for a bag of pucks.

    Phaneuf- Gunnarsson
    gardiner – franson (pair looked good in playoffs, should go back to it)
    tallinder – fraser
    holzer/reilly

    • Gambo says:

      Ranger has looked terrible, but it would be stupid to just give up on him like that. He has the potential to be the same players (or better) than he was in Tampa and is on a really cheap contract. I think it would be best to let him watch a game from up top, give him the chance to really take in the speed of the game and show that he’s not just going to be handed a spot in the lineup after that long of an absence. He actually does have a pretty good shot, dinged a few posts with lasers.

      Yeah Rielly and Bernier have been impressive so far. I’m still torn whether or not Rielly should stay for the year or go back to junior, I think it depends on the Jake Gardiner situation who I feel just needs to be placed on the left side, he looks really uncomfortable on the right side.

      • nordiques100 says:

        The issue with Ranger is that he’s been playing with Gardiner who hasn’t yet found his game. I am sure when Gardiner starts to play well, Ranger’s game will pick up.

        He’s been away from the NHL game for a while. It will take time.

        Plus, You have defenceman flipping back and forth to their wrong sides. Ranger, Fraser, Gardiner have all taken turns playing their wrong side. Dion is too though he is more experienced at it.

        Its not that easy. especially for a guy trying to find his game, or a still learning player like Gardiner.

        A Gardiner trade would be tough to swallow because I don’t think the Leafs would get back what they’re giving up.

        Though no one is untouchable, Gardiner to me is pretty close. There is too much raw talent there to give up too quickly. It would take something ridiculously good to move Gardiner if i were the Leafs.

        That is, someone will have to ridiculously overpay for him.

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          Agreed all the switching isn’t helping. Ranger was lost at sea on that second goal. He’s been really bad, but he’s got the skill to turn it around I think.

          Rielly looked awesome last night. I’d keep him up. His speed is crazy, couple great pinches, kept the puck in really well, drew a late penalty.

          I hate the thought of trading Gardiner as well, but the apparent stance by Nonis is good. You want him, give us an elite young forward. I’d have to see the return before I decided on it. He makes boneheaded plays, but his skills is awesome.

          Phaneuf should be quieting all his haters so far this year. He’s been a rock. Got blown past by Duchene once, but who didn’t. That kid flys. The Avs are going to be a hell of a team in a year or two.

          • nordiques100 says:

            well Ranger sure isn’t Mario in terms of coming back after a leave of absence for a few years and being at the top of their game. lol

            The pace is probably something he is adjusting to. I like Ranger and think he’ll be fine given time.

            The team is 3-1 and the goaltending has been good. Its a bit of a concern the loose defensive play and the disjoint between forwards and D, but i am sure it will straighten itself out.

            The forwards in as much of a flux as the D. Minor league guys in and out of the lineup, minor bumps and bruises since camp opened leaving players in and out of practice/games.

            obviously the worst case scenario is playing out for the leafs in terms of being in a cap crunch already, and these suspensions/injuries making it worse.

            But again, 3-1 still and long season ahead of them. no need to knee jerk and trade Gardiner to resolve depth/defence issues. Nonis is doing right if what is being said is true and he’s sitting back waiting for overpayment.

    • toronto77 says:

      Gardiner is my favourite d-man on the team. and I have to admit he has been awful! He dominated in the playoffs last season and continued to dominate in the pre-season and then within the snap of a finger he is awful when the season starts. Perhaps it is the fact that he does not enjoy playing with Ranger.

      In an interview today Gardiner was asked about Ranger and he said that “we have to talk a bit more in practice”. the key word is “more”, perhaps there is not a lot of communication between the two, and do not enjoy playing with each other, or just Gardiner doesn’t enjoy playing with Ranger. The D pairings need to be changed I think.

      • LN91 says:

        The only issues is this…If you send down Reilly and trade Gardiner…Toronto has a very slow and immobile defence, even though their forward group is quite quick.

        I think a few things I’ve noticed from the Leafs so far:

        1) They do not have any shutdown defencemen. Like a Methot or a Giordano.

        2) Not the toughest group.

        3) Immobile, slow.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          If you trade Gardiner then Rielly stays up. If he keeps improving he will stay up anyway and deserves to stay. his improvement since his first Pre-season game has been incredible.
          It’s funny how so many knock Franson for his defensive game but Carlyle has trusted him to play with both Gardiner and Rielly, 2 kids who are not known for their defence and need a solid partner who can play in his own end. He barely plays them with Gunnar, who many call our most solid D-man.
          I agree with what you have noticed as I said above, we are not tough enough or hard enough to play against.

          • reinjosh says:

            Remember Rielly’s first game with Franson? It wasn’t Franson covering for Rielly, it was actually the other way around. Franson is…inconsistent with his defensive play.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              That’s the only game I missed Josh, but on the overall, Franson has been good and has earned the trust of Carlyle.

              • mojo19 says:

                Overall Franson has been good. He and Gardiner got crossed up a few times last game, but I think that was more Jake.

                To be fair to Jake, he hasn’t been very good this year, but he has these moments where he’s skating around in circles controlling the puck and jumping into the play, and you can see the talent is there. He’s only 23. I’d be in no rush to trade him.

              • reinjosh says:

                I definitely wouldn’t deny that. He’s been very good. I was pretty skeptical of him after the playoffs last year, and I’m being proven wrong so far. He’s earning Carlyle’s trust and he’s making a fan of me.

                But he was pretty bad that game lol.

  3. LN91 says:

    Everyone’s been hard on the entire D…But guys like Kessel and Kadri have not looked so hot to start the year.

    Leafy believes Kadri’s ‘wrist’ is still injured, but the first thing that would go if this was true would be ‘faceoffs’ which he does look better at.

    I think the chemistry will improve over time, as many new guys are on the team this year, but if it doesn’t…I doubt this play will be sustainable.

    • toronto77 says:

      It’s funny because it’s only the new guys that playing well.lol

      Toronto was god awful last night against colorado! Don’t let that 2-1 loss fool you, that was more of a 7-1 type of blow out! Just that Colorado didn’t have a lot of “creative” shots that could get past Bernier. 33 shots but standard shots, they did everything except score.

      They did an excellent job at clogging the neutral zone, how many times did the leafs D skate out of their own end with their head up and didn’t see any passing options. They got as far as the centre line before they turned the puck over or if they were lucky the blue line.

      Their was just no energy with the leafs, it’s like they were intimidated with the Avs speed even though the leafs are a pretty fast team themselves.

      A completely different team, new coach and new GM over the last 5 years and the team still has the same problems. This teams skill is in no question, it’s that energy and motivation. Is it that hard for young players to perform in a crazy city like Toronto?

      Last night the leafs needed a player the stand up and say “what the fuck are you guys doing??? let’s clean out act up”

      the 2 biggest leaders in Phaneuf and Lupul were very quiet in that regard.

      • LN91 says:

        Another interesting stat I saw yesterday was, at one point, Bozak and Bolland being under 40% in faceoff draws…I believe Kadri was around 60%.

        Still seems to be alot of disorganization amongst the Leafs, no idea why.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          There were a lot of new faces last night, and on the team in general. It will take some time to gel. Ranger, Reilly, Devane, Ashton, Bolland, Bernier, Smith were not part of this team last year. Clarkson will make another addition when he gets back.
          Ranger will get better, Gardiner will get better and so will Gunnar(I hope) and Rielly.
          Even when we start to gel, we will still need to address the problem on D of becoming harder to play against. That will be either adding another kid like MacWilliam, which is probably not the best idea since we have so many young D already OR trade, and it will have to be a good piece shipped out to get a solid, defensive minded but still able to move the puck D-man.
          We have to be patient I think, but not so much that we possibly fall out of the race.

          • realistic_leafs_fan says:

            Not trying to start anything but for those who asked me to watch Gunnar more closely, I did, more closely than usual. He was great the first 15 minutes and then the things I have been talking about started to creep back in. Lost battles along the boards in our end, just banging it off the glass to get it out over passing it, poor positioning at times. He is solid back there but his game, as I have said, to me still is lacking…the 5 giveaways in the game against Ottawa is not what I call integral to winning a cup when you can`t light up the other end, but that`s me. I like Gunnar, but I still wouldn`t call him untouchable as some suggest he basically should be.
            We have enough semi-soft D-men on the team. If I could move him for a defensive RHD with some sandpaper that could play similar minutes…I would still do it. I believe we have enough other D that can fill the void of Gunnar if we acquired what I said.
            Also, Carlyle must not be happy with him either as Franson is taking a lot of his minutes including on the penalty kill. Except for the one game that Fraser got hurt in, Gunnar is only averaging about 18 mins a game, about 3 mins less than last year and he is still Phaneuf`s regular partner and Phaneuf is still playing 25+ mins a night. Sorry guys, I just don`t see what you do.

    • reinjosh says:

      It would help if Kadri would get some consistent minures in games. Giving him 13 and 11 minutes a game is completely useless. And look what happens when he gets 15 or more minutes. He puts up numbers! What a concept, giving your talented offensive players time to actual play.

  4. leafs_wallace93 says:

    So the Oilers want Gardiner? Who cares, I don’t want Yakupov, we don’t need another winger. RNH isn’t getting traded after signing his extension and it questionable that he’s worth 6 million anyway. The Oilers simply don’t have trade chips.

    Gardiner is the perfect defensemen capwise, Nonis should be able to lock him up on a cheap cheap bridge or buy some UFA years in the 4.5 million range. The potential of have a top four with Gardiner and Rielly holding the puck 40 minutes a night is the reason to have faith in this team long term potential.

    • doorman says:

      While I am not not against trading Gardiner(for the right deal, I agree Yakapov isn’t exactly what I would want unless he is able to be part of a 3 team type deal. Also I would trade Gardiner for a young promising propect if a team would take Liles with him. Which might ironically be what happens, much the same way we got him. I would prefer in a perfect world to keep him, but Nonis has given me no real reason to not trust his judgement and moves thus far.

    • realistic_leafs_fan says:

      Here’s a question for all Leafs fans.

      If you had to trade one of Gardiner or Kadri, who would you choose? Who do you think is more valuable to the Leafs moving forward and will be a bigger impact player?

      I actually believe it’s Gardiner from an overall, big picture standpoint.

      Here’s my reasons and I am definitely interested on what everyone thinks.

      Gardiner’s overall skill from the backend is hard to come by I’m sure we all agree. The problem is the Leafs are not set-up well to accommodate him and Rielly with a good partner other than Franson who is being used to bring along Rielly and they do make a good tandem. We need a guy who plays the right side well on D and plays a solid defensive game, not just for Gardiner, but on the overall. Trading Gardiner would not solve the Leafs backend issues and a top tier forward coming back is not necessarily needed nor do we have the cap room to add one. Moving Gardiner would likely be a lateral move unless we add a player with contract to the deal, like Kulimen. The idea of two puck movers the calibre of Gardiner and Rielly is very enticing.

      As for Kadri, the leafs basically handed the number 1 centre job to Bozak with his contract that includes an NTC. Bolland was brought in to play a more significant role than in Chicago and has not disappointed so far. As I have said before, the Leafs basically have (3) 2nd/3rd line centres in Bozak, Bolland and Kadri. By no means have I given up on Kadri, but I do believe there is some bad blood between him and management. Kadri also carries a bigger cap hit and could bring back a defensive piece we need or if packaged with a current D-man, the return could be very good. For example, just for argument sakes, say the Leafs moved Kadri and Gunnar to NYR for Girardi and Boyle. The Leafs now have their RHD shut-down, big minute D-man and a true two-way, third line centre. D pairing options are now much greater than with Gunnar and Boyle is a perfect 3rd line centre who is also solid on the PK or stand infront of the net on the PP. Gardiner could not get this return even with a Kulimen I doubt. Also, the Leafs couldn’t afford to take on another $1mil in contract.

      All things considered, if I had to,(not saying we should) I would move Kadri over Gardiner.

      Hope this sparks a good debate.

      • doorman says:

        Present moment Kadri, if he scores has more value in my mind, however shortly down road it’s Gardiner. Problem that truly comes from trading either is that a high end young dman is probably more likely to get a Centre type prospect then a young centre. Unless we are trading Kadri for a non NHL ready centre. Then there becomes that if we traded Gardiner for a centre Kadri would probably get his walking papers anyway. Truth be told there is nobody on the team outside of Kessel and Bernier who I wouldn’t trade. However each member is going to have a differing opinion for sure. So it’s settled we trade them both lol, easiest solution.

      • reinjosh says:

        Sorry bur trading our ONLY skilled offensive center to fix our defensive problems, would be a monumental mistake.

        Kadri should not be moved. Carlyle is being an absolute idiot with him, and if we end up trading him, it will only to be to another team’s benefit.

        • realistic_leafs_fan says:

          So you would trade Gardiner?

          • doorman says:

            I told you guys easy solution is trade em both, lol. As far as the mis handling of either from a coaching standpoint, well i am not an NHL calibre coach, so I am not gonna second guess a Stanley Cup winning one. However Young players do need to play, however if they aren’t playing well or as he expects, then the ice time should reflect that, IMO. They both could be playing better.

          • reinjosh says:

            Honestly, I don’t see much reason to trade either. They are both young and will need to go through some growing pains. I see no reason to move them.

            • realistic_leafs_fan says:

              LOL. Josh, it was a hypothetical “if you had to and why”. Read what I wrote again, I was not suggesting to trade either…just trying to spark some debate.

              • doorman says:

                I tried my very bestest to role play, lol

              • reinjosh says:

                I’ve never been very objective with Kadri lol. I always find myself being one of his few supporters. So take this for what you will.

                I would trade Gardiner. We have a depth of that kind of skill at his position, and not at center. Plus I feel like his attitude (I don’t like the attitude argument but I’ll use it anyways)will be more attractive to more GM’s leading to a higher price.

                So if I had to choose one? Probably Gardiner. We’re pretty weak in the center position, plus we lack Kadri’s skill set in the forwards. We need guys who break a game open, and I think he makes his wingers better.

                But like I said, I’m biased. So take it for what you will.

                • mapleleafsfan says:

                  I really like them both. When Kadri puts it all together he will be really good. He’s just got that edge to him.

                  That said, seeing Gardiner skate and do his pivoting on the blue line is a thing of beauty.

  5. nordiques100 says:

    I am not too worried about Kadri.

    He had to play with Orr and Ashton and Bodie the last game and a half. He will not score points that way.

    With the injuries, its taken away a few of his wingers.

    He didnt practice much with Lupul with his bad back, didnt play much with Clarkson due to his suspension.

    And Kulemin wasn’t expected to be a top 6 forward and now he is hurt.

    I think with the makeshift lineup they have now (providing Lupul is going to be healthy for tonight’s game), the team needs to spread itself for 3 line depth.

    the top line can stay together, but Kadri/Lupul should reunite with maybe Leivo and Bolland/Raymond can be together with either Broll or Bodie.

    For the leafs to be effective, they need to be that 3 line team. i think them loading up 2 lines and leaving Kadri with no one to play with choked them off against the Avs and made them easier to check.

    Its just 4 games in. I don’t feel worried at all about Kadri and his play.

  6. leafy says:

    It’s always a huge risk to trade a skilled young defenceman. I remember way back around 1982 when I was a kid, Glen Sather almost pulled a deal to ship out Paul Coffey. But the deal never closed, and in the next game Coffey dominated and was named first star. Sather immediately pulled him off the market. The rest is history.

    Not that Gardiner is Paul Coffey, but with younger skilled D, you have to be patient.

    • mojo19 says:

      Ya I would agree. It would be tough to move Gardiner. It would really take a lot. Like if we could land a 1st line centre or something.

      • reinjosh says:

        Agree, I believe Nonis has mentioned he’d need an elite forward back to consider trading him.

        • doorman says:

          I would trade both of them in a heartbeat for one ELITE centre. Bozak and Bolland are great 2/3 centres as RLF has stated. While I have no problem with Kadri or Gardiner I have no problem moving either or both if it means truly getting better.

  7. leafs_wallace93 says:

    I’m dead set against trading Gardiner but if the rumored Riemer + Gardiner for Yakupov rumor did happen think of our top nine….

    Kessel – Bozak – Lupul
    Yakupov – Kadri – JVR
    Kulemin – Bolland – Clarkson
    Ramond – McClement – Orr/McClaren/Carter/Bolie

    I like everyone but Bozak who isn’t by any means useless. Roll three lines that can play with a bit of skill on the 4h line. That’s scary good up front. Especially if Kadri blossomed into a 1A, I could live with Bozak on the 2nd line.

    Something will have to give on our back end this summer, I wouldn’t do the proposed deal but could live with it if it happened.

    • mojo19 says:

      The best thing I can say about Bozak is he doesn’t hurt you. He doesn’t help as much as you’d like, but he doesn’t hurt you.

      And ya, that would be crazy to have those forwards. Look at those wingers, 7 really good wingers/superstars and then Orr at the end of the bench.

      • leafy says:

        I’ll say one thing about Bozak. He has a knack for catching break aways…and he usually scores on them!

      • leafs_wallace93 says:

        And if we could bring back Karomov, best depth up front in the league.

        • toronto77 says:

          I really licked Komarov! I think he was the best agitator in the NHL. He would do the little things that would piss off opponents and when the opponents tried to hit him he wouldn’t retaliate and he wasn’t a coward about it either. He never took stupid penalties.

          Most agitators in the league are hot heads but not him!

          • leafs_wallace93 says:

            He’s a KHL type agitator.

            • mojo19 says:

              No Komarov just means more opportunities for guys like Broll, Devane, Bodie, Ashton, and Leivo. We’re stating to see some old Burke picks coming up.

              I can’t remember a time when we had so many mid-late round picks, all in around 20-23 years old, who we can call up and play. Usually it would be some veteran journeymen getting the call up.

              Josh Leivo, based on the one game was actually really impressive, I like the way he handles the puck. I hope to see more of him throughout the next couple of years. He could wind up being a solid NHL’er for us down the line.

              Having guys like this constantly coming up will be key to manage the cap for when guys like Komarov go RFA and need to get paid a couple mil. We can just keep bringing up these entry level guys. Eventually we’ll keep the one’s who become something a little more, or trade them Frattin styles.

              I guess I should digress. But I am pretty happy about the state of the organization.

          • LN91 says:

            Licked, lol.

            How did he taste?

  8. mojo19 says:

    Bernier is so calm. He makes goaltending look so easy.

    • leafy says:

      I have to admit, I was highly skeptical that he’d outplay Reimer, but now there’s no doubt about it. He’s the man.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      No kidding. How confident do you feel with him in net? As soon as we were up two against Nashville I knew it was over. I’m actually surprised when anyone scores on Bernier. I love Reimer, but I am always expecting a goal against. Its more of a pleasant surprise when Reimer steals a game. Not the same at all with Bernier.

    • reinjosh says:

      I love Reimer, I really do, but I find myself actually feeling quite comfortable when the Leafs are in their zone. He really does just make things look easy.

  9. leafy says:

    How about Rielly again tonight? I love the way this kid plays. Every time he’s on the ice, the Leafs are a threat to score. He’s like a fourth forward out there.

    I think the Leafs hit the jackpot with this kid.

    • Gambo says:

      He made some solid defensive plays that lead to big scoring chances too, really impressed with him.

    • reinjosh says:

      Yeah there is almost no way he’s being sent down. He’s looked better in every game I’ve seen him. He’s making great plays.

      I agree, I think the Leafs hit the jackpot.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      His transitional play is off the charts. He had a couple shifts where he’d break up a play, jump in the rush, and then get back in time to break up a play again. His speed is insane.

      I actually thought Ranger was solid last game too.

      Dion continues to beast it, I think his minutes have been reduced a bit and he’s playing really well for it. I know it’s a contract year, but I don’t feel like Ccmpete level is ever phaneufs issue. Good to see him breaking up plays, being more composed and not turning it over as much.

      I was also surprised with how many points Lupul has. It seems like he’s not playing nearly as well as last year so far, but he’s still racking up points. I’m excited for Clarkson to be back. Lupul – Kadri – Clarkson will be nice.

    • toronto77 says:

      Burke’s prediction of Rielly going no.1 overall is not far fetched.

      I don’t know if Yakupov is a one dimensional offensive player, but if Rielly could be the next coffee or neidermayer than the draft order should have been:

      1. Rielly
      2. Galchenyuk
      3. Yakupov
      4. Reinhart
      5. Murray

      Galchenyuk – I put him 2nd because centremen of his size speed and skill don’t grow on trees.

      Yakupov – I put him 3rd behind Gal because he is a winger, and even though he played in the OHL russians don’t seem to have that same two-way strong game that most N.A’s and some other europeans do. It’s seems as if every russian player is a one dimensional skilled forward that isn’t a team player at times. Malkin and Kulemin are one of the few that have those qualities.

      Reinhart – I put him ahead of Murray because Reinhart looks to be the next weber or pronger. Those d-men are key in deep playoff runs.

      Murray – though he was compared to Lidstrom constantly in his draft year. Lidstrom is one of those quiet d-men that play smart simple games but nothing fancy. Rielly and Reinhart have qualities that could potentially have more of an impact.

  10. nordiques100 says:

    Bernier’s been a great acquisition. I said it before and will say it again, it was a steal to get him from LA.

    Reilly wasn’t all that noticeable in the 1st 2 periods, but sometimes thats a good thing for a rookie learning the game.

    but, players like him are special in that they can make one or two plays a game that really stand out. He did that in the 3rd. They also tend to get on the scoresheet positively without much work or effort. thats partly what makes them special.

    He has world class skating ability. As part of the learning process, he’ll need to learn when to go and when to hold back. I am ok with some mistakes as long as he learns from them and its ok to be in the NHL should he continue to learn the game and get better here. Having a former Norris winner as your head coach helps. I don’t think he’ll be stunted like Schenn was. And he at least did play a full year of Junior after missing the previous year with injury and I believe that extra year helps. That included too a WJC and a trip to the Marlies as well.

    So its not like he came cold straight from Swift Current.

    • toronto77 says:

      Bernier was a steal for that price! and to think that that was the asking price from L.A.??

      Reimer isn’t THAT horrible, he was huge in the leafs even getting to the playoffs, there were other teams with way worse goaltending problems than Toronto, like Tampa, Philly, NYI, Minn, were these teams unaware of the price? I am sure they would have made a bigger offer.

      • mojo19 says:

        Dean Lombardi was interviewed this week after Bernier’s hot start, and he said he wasn’t surprised at all. He said he wasn’t happy with the return and wished he didn’t have to trade Bernier. But no one was making any legitimate offers, just kicking tires. Except Dave Nonis. He was the only one who made a real offer, according to Lombardi.

  11. leafmeister says:

    If it is a hockey trade that addresses another issue of weakness (say, if Philly were to be willing to part with Sean Couturier) then I am all for it.

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