VANCOUVER - Other teams might covet Jake Gardiner.
But Jake Gardiner does not covet other teams.
“I don’t want to go anywhere,” the Maple Leafs rookie defenceman proclaimed. “I don’t want to be traded.
“I love it here. I want to be a Toronto Maple Leaf. That’s it.”
Just a year after the former first-round draft pick out of the University of Wisconsin was acquired along with forward Joffrey Lupul from the Anaheim Ducks as part of the deal that sent defenceman Francois Beauchemin out to Disneyland, Gardiner’s name has come up in trade chatter again, this time linked to the Rick Nash sweepstakes.
While Gardiner’s third-period goal was helping the Leafs claw their way to a 4-3 overtime victory over the Oilers in Edmonton on Wednesday, a number of hockey types familiar with Scott Howson from his days in the Oilers organization continued to insist that the young Leaf blueliner is on the wish list of the Columbus GM in any potential package that would see Nash end up in Toronto.
Word out of Columbus Thursday night was that the Bruins and Rangers were the early frontrunners in the Nash sweepstakes, but, until a deal is completed, who can really make that claim? All the while, Leafs general manager Brian Burke is wary that, after three years of building up the organization’s cache of young talent, a Nash deal could quickly leave the prospects’ cupboard bare again.
Whatever happens, Jake Gardiner doesn’t want to be part of it. He’s happy right where he is.
why do you guys pay attention to this sort of thing? not that he has reasons to want to leave, but he has little choice but to give the exact response that he did.
he could just lay down a rick nash and say "well right now I am a toronto maple leaf, so that's that" and leafs fans would **** their pants. he does not want you to **** your pants because it is unhygienic.
i love this guy a lot and I think he is something very special, but business and heart doesn't mesh together. If the right trigger is present, he will be dealt unfortunately, for me I hope we keep him.
The only time he should be traded is if he was part of a package for a truly elite player, IMO. He's already playing such a calm and focused game in his first year, so I can see him becoming a top-tier defenseman in the future.