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03-15-2013, 04:15 PM
Larry Hoover
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Originally Posted by Jack de la Hoya View Post
Both Talbot and Read are natural centers. Read has been played at wing, and given the direction this season is taking, I'm not particularly worried about getting a stop-gap.

Basically, the reaction that you will get will depend on how people feel about Gardiner. In a lot of ways, his early development isn't dissimilar from a young Matt Carle, right? There aren't a lot of guys here who would trade Couturier for Carle.

I personally don't feel like I've seen enough of Gardiner to make that call, but if he projects as a Carle-like player, then the plus would have to be more valuable than Bozak and a mid-round pick for me to get excited about moving him.

When you watch Gardiner play, you'll see what the Leafs fans see. He's a far smarter player than Carlyle, and more reliable defensively. As the season went on, and he gained confidence, he was unbelievably good. His biggest issue was physical play and defensieve play.

What Dallas Eakins has been doing to him in the minors though is playing him 35+ minutes a game, in all situations. Eakins develops players areas of weaknesses, I would trust him with any player (See Kadri and his defensieve play today). Gardiner is on pace for around 60 points in the AHL but being told to focus on his D.

I truly think Gardiner will turn out to be a 45-55 point, #2D who can move the puck very well but isn't a pure OFD like Liles...more along the lines of a Brian Campbell.

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