Would Jake Gardiner be a good fit for Edmonton?

Jonathan Willis
October 09 2013 09:47AM

So the Jake Gardiner rumours have started up again. CBC’s Elliotte Friedman reports that the 23-year-old defenceman is a topic of conversation between the Leafs and other NHL teams, and given his difficulties getting ice-time from Toronto head coach Randy Carlyle that makes a certain amount of sense.

Does it make sense for the Oilers to be interested?

The Edmonton End

It just might make sense for the Oilers.

Some would argue that, because the Oilers have approximately a million defencemen split between the NHL and the AHL. And they might have a point: while the Oilers’ left side defence is relatively weak at the moment, prospects like Darnell Nurse and Oscar Klefbom and Martin Marincin all play the position. Given enough time, things should work themselves out, and as to the interim that’s what Ladislav Smid and Nick Schultz and Andrew Ference are for.

The case for is pretty straight-forward, though: Gardiner not only has strong potential, but moved out of Carlyle’s system it’s not crazy to think he’s a solid top-four option right now. Gardiner had a solid NHL rookie campaign in 2011-12, playing 21:35 per game for Toronto. Last year he had to wait for his shot, but he was close to the point-per-game mark in the AHL and delivered strong two-way play in 12 regular season games with the Maple Leafs and six more in the playoffs. This is a guy who is ready for a significant role now, and he certainly fits Craig MacTavish’s vision of a mobile defence corps that can also move the puck.

The Toronto End

Here’s how Elliotte Friedman assessed the return the Leafs might be looking for in his report:

If the Maple Leafs do decide to do it, it's going to be for a young asset or assets. So, you have to look at teams with talented young players.

James Mirtle of the Globe and Mail wrote on this topic too. The full article is here, but the gist of the argument is that the Leafs aren’t really a Randy Carlyle team on defence because they lack both physical players and shutdown types. Unfortunately for Toronto, they don’t really have the money to add that kind of player, so instead they have to settle for youth.

A Trade?

Toronto still needs defenders, and Edmonton would need to move some out, but the problem is that aside from Nurse (who can reasonably be excluded from trade discussions) they don’t exactly have a bunch of physical shutdown types they can move; David Musil might be the only guy who qualifies and he likely isn’t good enough to be the centerpiece of a trade with the Leafs. If it’s a Gardiner-specific issue, the Oilers could offer a bigger guy like Martin Marincin (who has a lot of the same skills) or unsigned defender Dillon Simpson, but these are ‘more of the same’ type moves. If not for the money, a guy like Nick Schultz might appeal (as might Ladislav Smid, though the Oilers may prefer to hang on to him), but perhaps that could be worked around if the Oilers took back a contract (such as Nikolai Kulemin).

Still, it’s hard to construct a plausible scenario that would appeal to both teams, so while it might make sense for the Oilers to be interested it’s difficult to see how they get a deal done.

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Jonathan Willis is a freelance writer. He currently works for Oilers Nation, the Edmonton Journal and Bleacher Report. He's co-written three books and worked for myriad websites, including Grantland, ESPN, The Score, and Hockey Prospectus. He was previously the founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue.
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#101 The Oilers Shot Clock
October 09 2013, 01:17PM
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@916oiler

If Yak was on the table, we could get a lot more than that. If a gun was to my head and I had to trade the kid, I'd send him to Washington for Carlson and Wilson. Carlson is locked in at 3.9 untill 17/18 without a no trade clause. I would consider that. Washington would consider that.

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#102 Dog Train
October 09 2013, 02:20PM
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When a player like Jake Gardiner might be available, Mactvish needs to at least kick the tires. I don't see a deal to be made there because both teams are so close to the cap. Toronto would be stupid to get rid of Gardiner, especially with their goofball captain not having a contract for next season. If Gardiner is dealt, my guess is it will be in the offseason.

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#103 washed up
October 09 2013, 02:37PM
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@oilerjed

What team would trade a Top 10 goal scorer for Yakupov?

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#104 pkam
October 09 2013, 03:08PM
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washed up wrote:

I always thought players had to be on LTIR for a team to get the cap relief.

That is what I think too but I remember the Oilers have about 1.3M when started the training camp, and then we claimed McIntyre and Gazdic off waiver, we sent Larsen to the minors which free up 925k, but our cap should be around 1M.

If Gagner's salary is not taken off our salary cap, I have no idea where those 4M+ is coming from.

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#105 pkam
October 09 2013, 03:20PM
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washed up wrote:

Not sure, just got the number off cap geek.

The number for Oilers at capgeek before the training camp is about 1.3M below cap. So what have we done since training camp to lower our salary by about 4M?

I can only think of 2 possibilities, bonus cushion or Gagner's salary.

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#106 pkam
October 09 2013, 04:08PM
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oilerjed wrote:

And forget the fact that this would mean that we are giving up on a 24 year old player that is already less then 200pts behind hemsky and catching up quick. With no injury history mind you.

Seriously, if I can trade Yak, Omark, Labarbera, Gagner, Hemsky plus N. Schulta or Smid for Jones, Weber and rinne, I'll do it in a heart beat.

But that is not my point, I just want to point out that "washed up" trade idea doesn't work cap wise.

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#107 Mark
October 09 2013, 04:14PM
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2004Z06 wrote:

Was wondering this myself.

As for Gardiner, don't be surprised if he ends up in Calgary.

Teams can give a term of 8 years if they own his rights. He doesn't have to be drafted by the team hes with to qualify for the longer term

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#108 pkam
October 09 2013, 04:40PM
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OilClog wrote:

Yakupov.. If Yakupov gets traded I hand in my Oilers Lifer Club Card. I've defended this team against anyone that has ever said an negative unjustified non sensible derogatory word. But if YakCity gets sent out of town, my 31years have been betrayed. Only 3 players I would trade Yakupov for. Crosby, Stamkos, Bill Ranford 1990. All impossible!

I'd have Perron or Ebs middle the 2nd line until 89's return. Nuge Hall Hemsky Ebs Perron Yak

You find some other way to acquire the "pronger" you don't trade a #1 pick to do it no matter what. If you do you should be shot.

I don't think it will ever happen but if it does, you still won't trade Yak, Hemsky, Gagner, Omark, Labarbera for Weber, Seth Jones and Rinne?

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#109 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 09 2013, 05:04PM
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@pkam

It'd take 2+ of the untouchables, maybe even more to even get Nash to the bargaining table on that one.

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#110 pkam
October 09 2013, 05:05PM
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washed up wrote:

Grabovski, got bought out around the 4th of July. Gagner didn't sign his extension until the end of July. I'm just using the number he signed in Washington. P.S, no way Gagner gets 65 points in a season.

My mistake on the dates.

Grabovski finally score 59 pts when he entered his prime at 26. Only once before (at age 24) that he had more than 30 pt (48 pts). But for some strange reason, you believe that Gagner, who never had one season less than 40 pts, still a few years from his prime, will never be able to score more than 60 pts.

Grabovski signed for 1 year only. Who knows how much he will ask at the end of this season. Wonder why he didn't sign for a longer contract? Do you think he will sign a long contract at 3M?

If he is asking Gagner's money, i.e. 4.8M for 3-4 years, who will you choose?

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#111 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 09 2013, 05:47PM
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@pkam

I think you misunderstood. I meant Nashville.

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#112 TeddyTurnbuckle
October 09 2013, 05:48PM
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Watching monday's game I thought Smid and Nick Shultz really struggled making passes. In fact they looked terrible.

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#113 madjam
October 09 2013, 05:57PM
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Oiler Al wrote:

First I think Leafs are giving up to early on Gardnair,unless he has health issues, ON the other hand why would Oilers need him, we have the other pea that came from the same pod, in Jr. Schultz . I think one of these is enough, even though Schultz is much better , but they both came from the same school...and system. Kinda shows on the ice today.

Oilers need a heavy , hitting D man , that can skate. PS SMid is a poor imitation of one.

We already have one , but they sent him back to juniors because of the money and cap issue . Nurse is the one I speak of .

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#114 pkam
October 09 2013, 06:11PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

I think you misunderstood. I meant Nashville.

Why are we talking about trade between Nashville and NYR?

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#115 Oilerr Al
October 10 2013, 08:53AM
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madjam wrote:

We already have one , but they sent him back to juniors because of the money and cap issue . Nurse is the one I speak of .

I am with you Madjam, on Nurse. Was the right move by the Oilers. ON a different commentary, I seriously suggested Nurse could be another Pronger.

My point was a need right now.. sending Nurse back was the right thing to do.. we need help NOW. Back end still cant move the puck up quickly and Waaaaaaaaaaaaaaaay to soft.

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#116 CK
October 17 2013, 12:24AM
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I could see a swap for Nurse, but anything else would be uncivilized!.. he is tailor made for Carlyle's rock em sock em brand of hockey.. and Oil fans cant cry about getting a future all star either. well actually, they probably will... but not for long.

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