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.

74b7cedc5d8bfbe88cf071309e98d2c3
Jonathan Willis is Managing Editor of the Nation Network. He also currently writes for the Edmonton Journal's Cult of Hockey, Grantland, and Hockey Prospectus. His work has appeared at theScore, ESPN and Puck Daddy. He was previously founder and managing editor of Copper & Blue. Contact him at jonathan (dot) willis (at) live (dot) ca.
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#51 Oiler_lover
October 09 2013, 10:53AM
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I dont think Gardiner is not the right fit for the oilers. IMO, it is just another example of trying to stuff a square peg in a round hole. We need a d-man that is big, strong, mean and has the ability to make the right play at the right time.

No one is giving away these players, and maybe one day Nurse will be that player, but we dont have it now.

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#52 morgie
October 09 2013, 10:56AM
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Jason Gregor wrote:

I'd be leery of Gardiner. The Oilers have enough non-physical D-men. They need to add a puck mover, but one with size and strength, which Nurse should be.

I understand the argument he'd be an upgrade, potentially, over N.Schultz, but long term I think Nurse and Klefbom because of their size and skillset will be better to fill in holes on the backend.

If Leafs want to trade him for a prospect then I'd seriously look at it, but in Toronto they speculated about Yakupov. Seriously. Laughable.

My thoughts exactly.

We don't need another smallish soft offensive D man, a river boat gambler who has diffciulty getting back into defensive postion to stop the oppositions, odd man rush back

We have two very similar players in Fedun and Larsen on the farm

Not to mention Grebs, and justin Schultz as offensive D men on the team

on top of that, to give up value to get more of the same by way of trade is addition by subtraction, no thanks!

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#53 Walter Sobchak
October 09 2013, 12:00PM
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I would do the trade if it were for N.Schultz, if the Oilers bought back half his salary.

I think Gardiner just needs to get the hell out of Carlyle system and he will take off.

If Gardiner crashes and burns the Oilers have enough D-men on the way up that it's a relative small risk trade.

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#54 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 01:03PM
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With the emergence of Trouba in Winnipeg, maybe Bogosian has been freed up some. He could be a top 3 guy here. [edit] scrub that, no way is he worth 5.125 per season.

Good to have an all trade talk all the time topic once a week during these difficult times.

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#55 Freewheelinng Freddie
October 09 2013, 01:23PM
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No more soft players. We need some nastiness on the backend .Musil and a third that's it Toronto. Quit breathing in that smoke from mayor Ford.

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#56 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 02:29PM
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@oilredemption

Thank you sir.

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#57 Wonger
October 09 2013, 02:42PM
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BIG JOHN SCOTT would be a better fit than LITTLE dafodil JAKE GARDINER!

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#58 Quicksilver ballet
October 09 2013, 02:48PM
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@washed up

I thought your first effort (Shea Weber) was just cloaked sarcasm. I didn't take into consideration you were being serious.

Have at'er dude. You've come to the right place...

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#59 pkam
October 09 2013, 03:57PM
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washed up wrote:

Grabovski. Does everything Gagner does, and would have cost 1.8mil less.

Didn't the Leafs sign Grabovski to 5.5M, even 2 years ago? Gagner had 65 pts (prorated at 82 games) last season. Did Grabovski has any year more than 60 pts? If Gagner's 4.8M contract is stupid, how do you describe Grabovski's 5.5M contract?

Grabovski was a Leafs when we signed Gagner. Without a crystal ball, how do we know for sure Leafs will waive him? Do you really think the Leafs will waive him if they failed to sign Bozak? Hindsight is easy, isn't it?

If the Leafs didn't waive him, are you going to trade Gagner for him?

Even you believe the Leafs is going to waive him, how do you know for sure he will sign with us at 3.0M?

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#60 Ryan2
October 09 2013, 10:57AM
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Spoils wrote:

There has been a lot of chatter about the millions of bottom 4D we have. As much as I loved the 4 goal 3rd period, we aren't contending this year.

Still, I believe it is time to mortgage the future (draft picks and players that won't be on the team in 3years). Trading guys that have potential before they underwhelm is one of the great ways a GM can add value.

Aren't we expecting the D to look like this when we win a cup? Klefbom was 1st team allstar at the WJC (so in the company of Alex Pietrangelo Erik Karlsson PK Subban Drew Doughty Kris Letang Ryan Suter). Nurse was a "young larry robinson" at camp.

Nurse- Klefbom Schultz- Petry Smid- (Marincin/Simpson/Gernat etc.)

If Klefbom is not the #1 guy let's package him up and trade him, but to get a bona fide #1 like a Pronger, we'll be forced to give stuff up (like maybe even a Gag, Yak or Ebs).

Priority this year should be making the call on whether or not Nurse/Schultz/Klefbom can be first team NHL All Stars norris winning cup champs.

goaltending and puzzle pieces(Gazdic(s) for example) are the trades we need to make immediately.

We shipped out a decent sized, soft, puck moving d-man in Gilbert a year and a half ago so why bring in another one to add to the pile?

It is way too early in the season to be talking about mortgaging the future. The best course of action right now is for MacT to be patient for a bit and let the team gel. There was a decent amount of turnover, another new system for the players to learn, and the team started with their top 2 centers on the IR. I did not expect the Oilers to be a playoff team this year (and stated so), and deep down I doubt that MacT did either. There are still too many pieces missing.

As far as trading the prospects, this team is still 2 years away from being a solid playoff tem let alone a cup contender, if it ever will be.Why waste young assets now on a stopgap player or two that will not make much of a difference at all? Right now the Oilers need to develop system depth (which is sorely lacking at forward) in order to fill roster holes with solid and cheap young players in the future. This is the Detroit model that has been copied in Chicago, and with Nuge, Hall and Ebs locked in longer term as cornerstones the Oilers could follow this model as well. I know that the fans are restless, but it will take two years to clean up Tambi's mismanagement of the roster, if not 3.

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#61 Ari Gold
October 09 2013, 12:00PM
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No. No way! Hell no!!

Pull this off and I'll piss all over myself.

This is not a 'wow' trade. Pass....

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#62 Romulus' Apotheosis
October 09 2013, 12:22PM
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EDM probably not a good dance partner for TOR on the Gardiner front.

One thing to keep in mind though, is that TOR might take something other than this "shutdown D" in a trade for Gardiner if you give them something else they want, ie., there's no reason they can't off-lift Gardiner for say a prospect (maybe a forward?) and a pick (or whatever) and find their shutdown D elsewhere.

That is, needs aren't addressed in a one-to-one vacuum.

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#63 Will
October 09 2013, 01:39PM
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Without going over to the Leafs message boards, I can actually hear there fans rejecting the idea of Yak for Gardiner. Hilarious.

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#64 washed up
October 09 2013, 04:16PM
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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.

Does this other way you speak off, require magic beans, and unicorns.

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#65 djc
October 09 2013, 06:28PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

If you survived the Gretzky deal in 88, i'm sure you'd live to tell the tale of a Yakupov deal. It doesn't get any worse than that Gretzky deal. Time tested and true Oiler fans have seen their share of deals where the best player in the deal was always leaving this city.

I can really see why the Harry and djc types are just so bitter nowadays. They've got nuthin!

You are a sad old man who whines all day and night long on the internet. You must have such a full life considering the amount of time you spend posting your nonsense. Is this the only attention you receive from people? I can see why you can't hold down a job.

You consider yourself a "true Oiler fan"?!? Aren't you the idiot who was making fun of Pelss when he died?

Have a good night cuddling with your Weber poster, old man.

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#66 Wonger
October 09 2013, 10:04PM
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kawi460 wrote:

He can't skate or play the game... why do you think he got moved to LW?? Now he plays 3 mins a night

You. Are right! I just am hoping for more toughness/aggression/bite on defense ,though I love ANDREW FERENCE!!! He and CHARA were agreat tandem in BOSTON!!!

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#68 michael
October 09 2013, 11:08AM
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Is this April Fools? Because really its the only way that this makes any sense.

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#69 OatmealSavage
October 09 2013, 11:10AM
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Absolutely, positively no for trading Yakupov for Gardiner. Gardiner at best, is a 2nd/3rd pairing dman.

No f**king way.

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#70 916oiler
October 09 2013, 11:54AM
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Trading Yakupov for Gardiner would be like trading Kessel for Petry. Smoke on, Toronto.

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#71 ubermiguel
October 09 2013, 12:18PM
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Spoils wrote:

trashed! ignore the long post- my point is:

watching Pronger march us to game 7 should point out the value of a true top guy. so basically you just have to tie for the half game he doesn't play.

if Klef-Nurse-JSchultz isn't going to do it, we should make the trade now while they have potential value - and we should be happy to give up one of our star forwards.

Stud D is that valuable.

Would Nashville make a move?

It wasn't just the 06 Oilers. Pronger regularly turned ok teams into contenders. The only problem, there's no defenceman that good in the league right now to target. Weber and Suter and great but Pronger was on a different level.

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#72 Lochenzo
October 09 2013, 12:27PM
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I'm going to say no based on the fact that we have Justin Schultz. I believe that you can only carry one offensively gifted, but smaller defenceman in your top 4. Your top 4 will play most of the minutes and play against top competition. I'd prefer to have a little more size out there playing most of the minutes.

I think that's the situation that Toronto is in right now. They have Gardiner and they have Reilly who is looking very good right now. They both must play in the top 4 to be at their best, but there's only room for one.

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#73 Ron Burgundy
October 09 2013, 01:05PM
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Burke traded for Gardiner while in T.O. (and if memory serves drafted him while in Anaheim)

+

T.O. looking for young assets

+

Burke's willingness to trade youth

=

Oil domination of Gardiner for foreseeable future.

Let Burkey make his first big gaffe as quasi-GM of the Shames and overpay for this lesser version of Petry. We shouldn't touch this kid with a 10-foot pole. Unless the cost to get him is an 11-foot pole.

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#74 vetinari
October 09 2013, 01:27PM
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Like everything else in life, the answer to whether we should add Jake Gardiner to the mix is... it depends on the price.

I would at least talk to Toronto but insist that they would have to take back at least one defenceman (Potter? N. Schultz?) and at least another player in any trade. Preferably the parameters of the trade would be a 3 (us) for 2 (them) which would let us fill another roster hole at the same time (depth centre?) and reduce our overall number of NHL contracts. And hands off our Yak-- he's not going anywhere!

Philly and Buffalo are starting slow right now and MacT's time would be better spent knocking on those doors and trying to free up better "top-end" talent.

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#75 2004Z06
October 09 2013, 01:39PM
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Quicksilver ballet wrote:

While we're talking Toronto...

How was it Kessel got an 8 yr deal when that was supposedly limited to teams whom originally drafted the player? Thought he was limited to 7 since he was drafted by Boston and not Toronto.

Was wondering this myself.

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

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#76 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 02:30PM
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Its amazing how the speculation of one dude(MacKenzie) has fueled at least 30 different sports sections today. And all of them quoting him as if he had some real insight into the matter. MacT is looking for a #1?! No 5h1t. The TSN self fulfilling prophesizing is out of control. The days of sports reporting have been replaced by sports editorials much to the dismay of reality.

And to anyone suggesting we trade YAK for anything less then A proven top 10 goal scorer in his mid 20s is assssinine. He skates like the wind, laser beam shot and is starting to take some real nice runs at people. I say move him to the top line and move Hemsky and Ebs down a notch. In Yak city the beer is cheap and girls are friendly right?

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#77 Sidney Frosby
October 09 2013, 02:43PM
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@washed up

Yaroslav lokomotiv

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#78 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 02:46PM
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washed up wrote:

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

Not sure, my point is that is all I would take for him. There is a very good chance that in the next 2-3 years he will be on that list.

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#79 Old Retired Guy (A.K.A. Die-Nasty)
October 09 2013, 02:47PM
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I would trade for Pronger. At this point in time, he can't remember why he left here in the first place!

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#80 washed up
October 09 2013, 02:49PM
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@pkam

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

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#81 washed up
October 09 2013, 03:14PM
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@pkam

Not sure, just got the number off cap geek.

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#82 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 03:18PM
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washed up wrote:

I don't know how anybody could think that signing Gagner to an extension was a good move for the Oilers. Total stupidity on MacT's part.

What was wrong with the signing? If we hadnt signed Gags who would you have replaced him with?

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#83 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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#84 pkam
October 09 2013, 05:29PM
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Jordan Nugent-Hallkins wrote:

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

Hall outscored Nash last year and Eberle did that the year before. RNH is probably going to do it this year and Yak likely next year.

Except perhaps Eberle, I believe these 4 kids will be nearly as good as Nash in 2-4 years. Why would I trade 2 future for 1 now unless we are completing for the cup this year instead of debating if we can make the playoff?

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#85 Smokey
October 09 2013, 06:26PM
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I don't get how a player is constantly in trade talks because he can barely stick with TO, is expected to fetch like a king's ransom. People in TO only want to trade him if they get a top drawer prospect or top roster player. I don't get or buy the talk to Edmonton. I don't see a need for him, or think we need a another soft defensemen. We got Justin Schultz, and we barely afford another developing liability. We need a bruiser, Matt Green, or Smith type.

I'd rather wait for one of Klefbom or Nurse or Marincin, Gernat, or Davidson to develop.

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#86 gcw_rocks
October 09 2013, 07:55PM
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If the Oilers could get Gardiner and Kulimen for Schultz and another asset, that would be pretty sweet for the Oilers.

You could do

Hall - RNH - Eberle

Perron - Gagner - Yakupov

Kulimen - Gordon - Hemsky

Joensuu - Arcobello - goon of choice

Smid - Petry

Ference - Schultz Jr

Gardiner - Belov

The left side could be switched up based on chemistry

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#87 Cynic
October 09 2013, 09:14PM
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The Oilers were gifted Pronger by a bankrupt STL. That will never happen again.

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#88 nick
October 09 2013, 10:50PM
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@Wonger

aer you kidding me. Andrew Ference is a small under sized defenceman that is over hyped in Edmonton. Why people think the Oilers have a top defenceman in Ference is amazing. He is already -4 and the season is 3 games in. Over hyped addition

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#89 Wonger
October 10 2013, 02:52PM
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nick wrote:

aer you kidding me. Andrew Ference is a small under sized defenceman that is over hyped in Edmonton. Why people think the Oilers have a top defenceman in Ference is amazing. He is already -4 and the season is 3 games in. Over hyped addition

-4 is a team defence problem. FERENCE is a great captain and leader who can drop the gloves and go with much bigger guys!!!! A super-coditioned athlete!!!! Ask CHARA what having Ference as a teammate and d-partner meant to his game over the last number of years!!! FERENCE IS A WINNER!!! end of story BUD!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

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#90 WhattaMike
October 09 2013, 11:21AM
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@washed up....

Inetresting maybe tempting...trade idea with Yak for Trouba....but...I think the Jets would have to add something else for such a type deal to be made at this time too. But I must say that I do like alot of what he showed against the Oilers in the first game.

I think Yak should have won the Calder trophy over Huberdeau without question and this alone gives the Oilers to having the better player now...between the two. IMO, Trouba would have to play a yr of defence full time and show his skills off well enough for a 1 to 1 trade off like that.

Yak is soon gonna be a 40 to 50 goal scorer soon IMO... with given top line minutes and PP time. This is then making it harder to trade a guy like that for even Trouba....one for one.

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#91 Jordan Nugent-Hallkins
October 09 2013, 12:47PM
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I've always thought Gardiner kinda looks like a 6 foot toddler. Something about that round face.

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#92 Cody anderson
October 09 2013, 02:14PM
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madjam wrote:

Gardiner can be part of trade for Yak only if Reimer or Bernier are included . Dump Lababarra in package .

This would still be a horrible trade. Yak could be an elite talent that may be our best natural goal scorer, and you would consider trading him for a 2nd or 3rd pairing dman that is soft and a goalie that is likely not an upgrade on Dubnyk?

Not even close.

If you were trading a high end forward for him it would be Hemsky. Even then I don't think Gardner would be considered much of an upgrade in 2 years over what we have in the system.

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#93 oilredemption
October 09 2013, 02:16PM
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Now, teams can sign new players to a maximum seven years; re-sign their own players (those who played the full previous season) to a maximum eight-year deal.

So interesting enough the new CBA didnt get rid of what they wanted to with these ridiculous contracts. But yes Kessel deal is legit because he played withe Maple Leafs all of last season.

Read More: http://sportsillustrated.cnn.com/nhl/news/20130106/new-nhl-cba-who-gets-what/#ixzz2hG2ImwdR

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#94 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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#95 pkam
October 09 2013, 02:42PM
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washed up wrote:

Not really. I think the oilers have about 5 mil in cap space. So lets throw in Gagner, and Shultz. Keep Hemmer and offer him a contact extension at the end of the year. Arcobello can be second line center. Switch Labrabra for Dubby. Good to go.

We have about 5M because Gagner is on IR. Once Gagner returns, we will have around 1M left in cap space.

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#96 kawi460
October 09 2013, 02:44PM
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Might be just me, but IMO the Oilers need to get a tough physical shutdown dman that brings size and can play the game. It would be a massive trade to get a Weber/Chara here. I wouldn't mind trying to acquire a Gudbranson, Cowen, Oleskiak or Tinordi type of player. Don't know what the cost would be. To a cheaper cost maybe a Taylor Doherty.

The oilers need to get better defensively and intimidate with a massive body that plays physical with a bit of puck moving skill might be more important than acquiring another small soft puck moving dman.

Suttons presence seems missed on the roster

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#97 kawi460
October 09 2013, 02:45PM
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@Wonger

He can't skate or play the game... why do you think he got moved to LW?? Now he plays 3 mins a night

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#98 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 02:51PM
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pkam wrote:

We have about 5M because Gagner is on IR. Once Gagner returns, we will have around 1M left in cap space.

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.

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#99 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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#100 916oiler
October 09 2013, 03:10PM
Trash it!
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trashes
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props
The Oilers Shot Clock wrote:

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.

You're missing the point of my statement. It was that Yakupov for Gardiner would be a severely mis-balanced trade. The Kessel for Petry part was an analogy for how bad it theoretically would be. That said, I do not agree the Carlson/Wilson idea either; keep Yak.

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