There’s no other way to put it: The Jake Gardiner situation is a weird one. The (maybe former) Leafs’ defenceman, coming off a season that was derailed a bit by injury but still impressive hasn’t signed a contract as an unrestricted free agent. He’s just… sitting there.
But why? There have been some who’ve pointed to his injury this past spring as the key reason, while others believe he actually has a handshake deal with a team looking to clear up other business. Oddly enough, it’s usually his hometown Minnesota Wild that get tossed around in those rumours.
As far as I can tell, however, there doesn’t appear to be anything cap-wise stopping the Wild from signing Gardiner today if they want to. That’s why it’s always been in the back of my mind that the Leafs are still in on this for some bizarre reason, especially since I don’t believe his time missed this past season is enough to scare other teams away from offering him a decent long term deal.
I just don’t know how it looks if the Leafs really are still in this. Not that Gardiner …
Author: Ryan Fancey / The Leafs Nation