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01-13-2013, 12:46 PM
  #82
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Quote:
Originally Posted by IHeartZherdev View Post
Jake Gardiner hasn't done anything yet. He's certainly not as good as Erik Johnson and may not ever be.

Duchene is like 21 years old - and already has accomplished a lot. Had a tough year with injuries but way to early to give up on him, especially for a guy like Gardiner.

I get Leafs fans are high on Gardiner but you have to wait for him to actually establish himself as a legit #1 defender before thinking he has the value of one. Right now he has about as much value as guys like John Moore in Columbus, Slava Voynov in LA, Roman Josi in Nashville, etc.
I've got issues with the bolded sections.

1) Gardiner is basically the same age as Duchesne, but has one "impact" NHL season. He played 75 games, and was basically the #2 d-man on the Leafs. He was only a -2, which is a huge accomplishment considering the Leafs goaltending last year. That's not "nothing", especially for a rookie playing defense which is signicantly more difficult than contributing as a forward.
2) The guys you mention:
* Moore showed flashes in CLM, but he hasn't shown anywhere close to what Gardiner has.
* Voynov & Josi both looked good, but were playing on VERY deep bluelines anchored by all-star guys (Doughty, Weber, Suter) and on teams that had awesome defensive systems.

I'm not saying that Gardiner is equal value for Duchesne, but saying that he hasn't proven anything, or that the guys you mention have similar value is a load of crap IMO.

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