Would Jake Gardiner be a good fit for Edmonton?

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.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    if we had a chance to get Jake Gardiner here, i’d still like to see the Oilers do it, though he may not be exactly what they are looking for (Shea Weber?), still very talented. and we’d probably indeed need to take another contract from the Leafs and make it a multi player deal. if it cost us Martin Marincin and David Musil and whatever else the Leafs wanted that the Oil were willing to part with, then i’m OK with it.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    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.

  • HardBoiledOil 1.0

    MacT. run out of viable trade options unless he exposes top 6 youngsters . Same problem Tams had . Coaching making little to no difference , which should not be much of a surprise . MacT. had one good trade in Perron -at least it appears to be for now , which is good for us . Top 6 either gets to another level , or we lounge again in cellar of league .

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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.

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    Oilers trying to get Weber here , but negotiations are tenuous as he does not know Weber or not he wants to play here . When might OKC get a victory ? 0-2 .

  • The Oilers Shot Clock

    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.

  • vetinari

    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.

    • pkam

      David Poile has to be heavily stoned to agree to that trade.

      And even Poile agree to that trade, we don’t have enough salary cap.

      Yak and Jones will even out. Weber and Rinne total about 15M. Omark and Labarbera total 1.6M, we need to add at least 13M to stay under the cap. We will need to throw in Hemsky (5M), Gagner (4.8M), then N. Schultz or Smid (3.5M) as well, just to make your trade proposal to be legal.

      • washed up

        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.

          • pkam

            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.

          • pkam

            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.

          • oilerjed

            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.

          • pkam

            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?

          • washed up

            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.

          • pkam

            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?

          • pkam

            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.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          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…

          • washed up

            Total sarcasm. 90% of the comments on this site are mind boggling. Although there are some on here that make some really good points. It’s just funny how lots want to change the dynamic of the team because there is to much of the same thing, but as soon as someone puts one of the skilled forwards not named Omark in a trade, said person must be on crack.

  • oilredemption

    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

  • 2004Z06

    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.

  • oilerjed

    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?

      • Quicksilver ballet

        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!!!

        • Quicksilver ballet

          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

          • Zarny

            -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!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

  • kawi460

    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

  • OilClog

    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.

    • Quicksilver ballet

      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!

      • djc

        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.

        • Quicksilver ballet

          Guess I sure hit that nail on the head when i mentioned the bitterness thing, eh.

          You’re living proof of that old adage. It’s best a fool remain silent, than speak and remove all doubt. Be well loser.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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.

      • Quicksilver ballet

        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.

  • bwar

    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?

    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?
    Petry-Other devolped d-man

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

  • Thumby

    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.

  • Spoils

    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

  • OilClog

    What did the Oilers give up to get Pronger… And here ON is suggesting giving up one of the top talents on this team to get another Pronger… How do we get a GM that pull a trade off like that first Pronger trade again.. This place can make heads explode, ridiculous.

  • Zarny

    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.

  • Quicksilver ballet

    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.