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 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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#101 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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#102 OilClog
October 09 2013, 04:05PM
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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.

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#103 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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#104 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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#105 Oiler Al
October 09 2013, 04:30PM
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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.

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#106 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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#107 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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#108 bwar
October 09 2013, 05:17PM
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Do the Oilers want/need Gardiner? NO.

Why would we trade away highly valuable young assets to get a subpar d-man? We have at least Nurse and Klefbom in the pipeline and if anything we need to strengthen our defense not add more offense to defensive positions.

What is our defense going to look like next year? Schultz-Ference Petry-Smid/Belov Kelfbom-Smid/Belov

If Gardiner is replacing anyone in that picture it would be Petry and I'm not entirely sure he is such an upgrade over Petry that would be worth the price Toronto will be asking. Furthermore what does our defense look like in 3 years? Schultz-Klefbom Nurse-Smid/Belov/Ference Petry-Other devolped d-man

I just don't see Gardiner being a substantial upgrade in either the short term or the long term.

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

I think you misunderstood. I meant Nashville.

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#110 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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#111 Thumby
October 09 2013, 06:07PM
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washed up wrote:

That being said, if your MacT do you call up the Jets and see if their interested in a Yakupov for Trouba straight across. I think this trade could make sense for both teams. I could see a pair of him and Nurse drastically changing the complexion of the oilers defense.

I liked Trouba's game the other night...

BUT in what universe is a kid who has one good game against your team worth a #1 overall pick sniper like the Yak?

Time will tell but Trouba could go into the tank just as fast as a Yak top chedder snapper.

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#112 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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#113 oilerjed
October 09 2013, 09:20PM
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TeddyTurnbuckle wrote:

Watching monday's game I thought Smid and Nick Shultz really struggled making passes. In fact they looked terrible.

This seems to be a common ailment to many Dmen paired with Shultz Sr.

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#114 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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#115 Zarny
October 10 2013, 02:02PM
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No, the Oilers should not pursue Gardiner.

He's certainly a good player and if you look at him in isolation any team in the NHL would like to have Gardiner in their lineup.

Winning the Stanley Cup however, is about the right mix of players; and Gardiner is more of the same.

He's no different than David Perron. In isolation, he's a very good player. However, he's more of what the Oilers already have and does nothing to address what the Oilers are missing.

On the blueline the Oilers need a legit shutdown D like Braydon Coburn who can physically matchup against big F like Getzlaf, Perry, Toews etc. The Oilers right now have no one who fits that bill.

Up front the Oilers need a power F like Jeff Carter or Nathan Horton...not David Perron.

The #1 picks have given Edm the skilled F they need but until MacT addresses the Oilers deficiencies they have no hope of ever contending.

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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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