After sitting in the pressbox for four straight games, the Toronto Maple Leafs have sent down Jake Gardiner to the Toronto Marlies of the AHL.
The move comes at a bizarre time; John-Michael Liles remains out with concussion like symptoms, and aside from Gardiner, there is hardly any mobility on the back end.
Don’t get me wrong, if Gardiner isn’t playing, then he should be sent to the AHL where he can log big minutes and continue to develop. Having him sit in the press box won’t do him or the team any good at this point.
At this point, the only way Gardiner gets back into the lineup will be if the Leafs trade a defender, which I highly anticipate to happen.
Last year, the “emergence” of Keith Aulie allowed for the trading of Francois Beauchemin.
This year, it seems as if Gardiner and perhaps Jesse Blacker may be ready for prime time. This should afford the Leafs some depth to make a move.
This is not the last we’ve seen of Jake Gardiner, mark these words.