Friedman: “If [Gardiner] is staying in Toronto, it’s because he really wants to be there.”

As the regular season steadily approaches, some impactful unrestricted free agents are still waiting to get signed by their new teams. But there have been an increasing amount of discussion whether a certain UFA will return to his former team as they try to contend for a Stanley Cup.
Jake Gardiner is in his first summer as an unrestricted free agent and has yet to be signed after a flurry of moves as soon as July 1 hit. Whether it’s finding the right contract or teams being worried about his past back injury, the timeline is growing shorter each day for him to find a roster spot for the upcoming season.

Eliotte Friedman, in an appearance on Tim & Sid, stressed the fact that both sides — Gardiner and the Leafs — both prefer each other over the other options that both parties have. In a perfect world, Gardiner would no doubt be a member of this team when training camp rolls around.
Friedman went on to talk more about the player’s point-of-view. Whether being on a highly-successful team but in a more depth role than he would be somewhere else, is truly beneficial for future contracts. If he’s looking for …

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Author: Thomas Williams / The Leafs Nation

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