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.