Toronto D-man Gardiner too valuable to flip

When the Roberto Luongo rumour mill went into full churn, promising Toronto defenceman Jake Gardiner knew who to lean on.

Who better than Luke Schenn?

Wait, a minute, Schenn did get traded.

“Sure, but it took four years,” Gardiner said. “He had rumours from the first time he got to Toronto. He had four years of it.

“I talked to him and he said, ‘Rumours are going to happen. You have to push them off. You can’t can’t ever worry about it.’”

From that point, Gardiner hasn’t, and with good reason.

Since a mid-season sag that saw him sit seven consecutive games in January, there hasn’t been a lot for Gardiner to be concerned about.

Even the rumours have been an ego stroke. The Canucks wanted him in a Luongo trade. His skating and transition game fit Vancouver’s attack like a longboard suits a hipster. The Leafs responded with their position that they can’t possibly give him up.

“I’m happy Toronto wants me, I don’t want to leave,” Gardiner said.

38 Responses to Toronto D-man Gardiner too valuable to flip

  1. reinjosh says:

    Would you trade Gardiner for Duchene? Or Rielly for Duchene?

    • mojo19 says:

      Tough call. On one hand, maybe now is the time to trade for Duchene, because if he picks it up he won’t be available.

      On the other hand, the time to trade one of our awesome young d-men isn’t now. We need to see how Finn, Percy, Rielly etc. start to pan out. I think in a year, year and a half’s time we will see Burke (assuming Burke’s contract is renewed) move one of the young d-men for help at forward like he did with Schenn.

      • I think you might have to take that chance with Gardiner for Duchene. I’d be a little hesitant, but If Duchene picks it up, you’ve got a great prospect in Rielly coming, and you get a young center who might be able to put up 70 points.

        If you’re talking about trading Rielly, I’d say absolutely with no hesitation.

        • Shoelesshobo says:

          Guessing you are pulling this from HFBoards as that thread seems to be going strong.

          In my opinion I love Duchene and would like him on the leafs. I would move any piece currently on our team to get him. Well maybe not Kessel but everything else sure.

          • mojo19 says:

            Duchene is really intriguing. I mean, 67 points as a 20 year old sophomore is so enticing. But then at age 21 just 28 points in 58 games in a really disappointing year when they tried to give him all the opportunities to be “the guy” in Colorado.

            As for Gardiner, here’s a kid who has thrived at every level he’s played at. Drafted in the 1st round and then putting up 30 points as a 21 year old, rookie d-man on a bad Toronto team. Gardiner has the poise and talent to be a top end NHL defenseman, and players like him are hard to come by.

            It really is a tough call. I guess I would say yes from a Leafs perspective because Duchene is a centre, and could be the answer we’ve been looking for since Mats. I don’t think he’ll ever be as good as Mats, but he has the talent to be a legit 1st line centre in the NHL for a long time, and given our organizational depth at D, it would make sense.

          • 93killer93 says:

            There was a thread on hfboards started by a leafs fan. He suggested the Leafs trade Gardiner, Colborne and MacArthur for Stastny.

  2. Gambo says:

    It would be tough to lose one of Gardiner or Rielly, but it’s a trade that you have to make. Duchene would be the first line center for the next decade.

    I think a bit more would have to go into the trade though, maybe a defenseman from Colorado and a center from Toronto. Bozak maybe.

  3. LN91 says:

    Grigorenko is starting to make the scouts of 9 teams look very dumb.

    He appears to be on another planet right now.

    • ZillyHoo says:

      We face Grigs, Galchenyuk in the next few years down the road..

      Doesn’t look like Boston and Ottawa are getting much worse either.

      Still, I’m thinking with the upcoming draft and the Leaf’s chances at getting a pick we might not do so bad…


      • toronto77 says:

        Buffalo may have the best top 6 for the next 10 years, they have an amazing balance.

        Montreal does have Galchenyuk who will be amazing, but they need a more better supporting cast.

        Ottawa may not have the best top 6 forward group or best top 4 defensive group, but they do have Robin Lehner, who could the best goalie in the north east behind Price.

        Boston and Toronto will have the best defensive group, the Bruins will have Hamilton and the leafs will have Rielly, but I also believe that the leafs have more depth and may be the most dominant at all 6 defensive spots.

        While all 5 teams will be fairly decent, the leafs are the only one that still have a hole in the goalie position.

        • mojo19 says:

          Ottawa will not be a legitimate contender in the next 3-4 years based on what they have right now. There are some interesting young pieces in place, who could start to come around in the next 2-3 years, just in time for Jason Spezza to start to decline. I just don’t think the pieces fit there. I could be wrong.

          Buffalo looks pretty good with Grigorenko and Grigensons, those were seemingly very good draft choices, time will tell, but I like their chances of panning out.

        • lafleur10 says:

          the supporting cast we have is good it could be very good,galchenyuk,pacioretty,collberg,gallagher,kristo,ellar

          • Shoelesshobo says:

            What I found funny was that at the start of last year I mentioned Grigs and people pointed out that he would go 2nd or 3rd overall. I guess I was right about him falling.

            On a side note I got an interesting piece of info from a friend who is up in the Q playing with Mackinnon. From what he said Mackinnon has an attitude problem. Says where he is destined to go first overall he seems to be telling his coach off not doing what anybody is saying and has a real huge ego problem. After hearing this I am less interested in the guy. I really do not like players with this kind of attitude sort of why I was not high on Taylor Hall.

            • mojo19 says:

              Ya dude, I remember you saying Grigorenko would slide to 5th or 6th, and then he went even further. I really agree with LN91 here, a lot of GM’s are going to be disappointed they didn’t take him in the 2-5 range.

              • Shoelesshobo says:

                Yeah not that I am displeased with Rielly it is just man I have been following Grigs for two years and I REALLY wanted him on the leafs and really the guy was pumped at staying in Canada. Oh well as long as Rielly becomes a solid #2 all is well.

            • toronto77 says:

              Ya Taylor Hall is a douche.

      • blaze says:

        Sorry I’m not trying to single you out here because I see these comments routinely. It cracks me up to see and to think well have to face Grigs and Gal for years to come. Who cares?

        Does anybody say shit we have to face Kessel in Toronto for years. Does anyone dread playing the Islanders because oh no we have to face Tavares (who is miles ahead of Grigs and Gal). No the Islanders still suck.

        Every team has star players. When people say of look at who’s coming up for prospects team X is set for 10 years. How often do you ever see that. So many things change year to year other than Detroit who was dominant with the same core for over a decade. It is the exception not the rule.

        • blaze says:

          My point really is I’m hardly concerned that another team has prospect X who may or may not someday be a star.

          • mojo19 says:

            I see your point. I think the reason those two get so much hype is because they both could potentially turn into #1 centre’s which, as you are well aware is a tough asset to acquire, and extremely valuable. If these guys work out as well as they could, its a huge piece for Buffalo and Montreal to have.

            • mojo19 says:

              Having said that, Cody Hodgson was supposed to be the same, and we’re still waiting on him him to step it up. So who the hell knows. And so, your point stands.

              • blaze says:

                More prospects bust than make it. But say Buffalo for example if Grigorenko becomes a 70+ point centerman. Entirely possible. But maybe by then Miller is gone goaltending is an issue, other top 6 forwards have moved on etc.

                Too many things change from year to year for me to worry about prospects who have yet to play an NHL game. Not downplaying the potential of these guys Montreal and Buffalo fans have every right to be excited for.

  4. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    Leafs are better off keeping Gardiner at this point. You can’t teach a player to skate and see the ice as smoothly as Gardiner does. His defensive game still needs work, but defense is not what makes him so valuable anyway. His patience with the puck is amazing for such a young player.

    The only way I move Gardiner at this point is for a proven game changing forward in his mid to late twenties…and there isn’t many of them out there.

  5. ZillyHoo says:

    Kind of just realized Tim Thomas just happened to take a break for an entire season during a lock out year

  6. LN91 says:

    Kadri, Colborne,and Ashton all deserve a flying punch to the face.

    I would not say they’re playing bad, they’re just not producing.

    In more positive news…Rielly, Finn, Biggs, Leivo, Percy, and Connor Brown are all having strong years in the O and WHL.

    Even Biggs, some have critcized the PPG production…But I have heard very good things about his play thus far and the transition could take longer than most anticipated.

    • mojo19 says:

      I was watching on Sportsnet a game last week where Biggs was up against the Guelph Storm, with Finn and Sparks. All 3 Leaf prospects looked great, with Finn scoring a late goal to seal the victory.

      Also mid-game they flipped over to highlights from another game and Stuart Percy scored a highlight reel goal. That kid has got some moves, he fights, runs the PP. I have very high hopes for the former 1st rounder.

      • blaze says:

        I’ve been pretty happy with Burkes drafting so far. Hard to say this early since t will take years to know for sure but it seems solid. A few truculent picks like Biggs that might turn out to be a mistake but overall I like guys the Leafs have grabbed.

        • mojo19 says:

          Ya, the prospect pool is in the best shape I’ve ever seen. That’s not saying we have all these high end players coming up, but for the first time I can remember, we actually have a cupboard full of interesting prospects.

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