Good post. Gardiner is coming 23 (or is it 24?) A lot of scouts might think he's reached his ceiling, so his value might be lower than people realize.
Are you in a dream world? He is 22, has played 75 NHL games out of college, all rookie team, major minutes, one of the top players in AHL until injury and you are saying he has reached his ceiling? Please come up with something better!
We'll Carlyle obviously doesn't agree with you Leaf fans, he's leaving Gardiner in the minors as the Leafs fight to make the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. Yet you are trying to sell us fans that it has to do with "waivers"? C'mon. I'm not calling Gardiner a bust, but he isn't the all-star that most of you Leaf fans painted last season. He's a young dman who is struggling to keep his roster spot on an NHL team. I'd think the Leafs would want to ice their best team possible in order to make the playoffs, and at the moment, Gardiner isn't part of that team. Who's the kid playing with Phanuef? You're telling me Gardiner can't beat him out?
Meh, even good coaches sometimes make questionable roster decisions/have certain preferences and biases. I wouldn't read much into it. As a young dman Carlyle may not have full faith in his defensive abilities yet and doesn't want to mix things up while the team is playing well, but that doesn't mean he's not going to go on to be a great dman once he's given more responsibilities. Which will inevitably happen.
We'll Carlyle obviously doesn't agree with you Leaf fans, he's leaving Gardiner in the minors as the Leafs fight to make the playoffs for the first time in almost a decade. Yet you are trying to sell us fans that it has to do with "waivers"? C'mon. I'm not calling Gardiner a bust, but he isn't the all-star that most of you Leaf fans painted last season
We will see, has a lot to prove. We aren't trying to SELL him to anyone, cause we don't want him gone. Hence, the 100s of pages and threads complaining about players like Holzer and Kostka playing over him.
The fact we are competing and Fraser is almost leading the league in +/- is the reason Gardiner isn't up. Liles is a better player then anyone (save Franson) on the Right side; However he holds his stick the other way and Randy is sitting him out because of it. It is hard to go against a coach who has clearly instilled a system that is making it hard for opposing teams.
Sure, if he were lights out in the AHL, he would be up and Gunnarsson would be sitting, moved etc. But like I said before and proven in his play last year, AHL is a different beast, He is a NHLer and I am confident in saying that.
I'll probably leave it at that.....but unfortunately someone will say something, and I may have to put the needle back down at the beginning of the record again.
Did you watch Moore? Or Erixon? Or any of them? Yes I did watch Gardiner last year when he was with the Leafs. He looked good. But apparently he wasn't good enough to crack the lineup this year. Listen, if this is all asset management, and Gardiner could improve the team that much compared to Kostka or Holzer or whomever, why wouldn't the Leafs trade that defenseman to a team that needs a player and then improve their team and get something else?
He was injured through training camp, and according to some still recovering.
No point in rushing him while we are still winning.
No, the problem is anyone that doesn't over-value a Leaf prospect is somehow labeled a "leaf hater"
If you're a Leafs fan, you have every right to be excited about him. But when assessing his value, it's important to look what's out there. As my list proved, it's not like there is a shortage of good young d men in the game right now. And, as my list also proved, there are a lot of guys Gardiner's age who have already established themselves at the NHL level, thus, making him less valuable. A 22 year old playing well in the AHL is not a hot commodity around the league when there is this many great 23 and under players lighting up scoresheets and logging big minutes.
That doesn't mean he won't be good at some point. But if you are looking across the NHL and are judging which D-men ages 19-23 have the most value, Gardiner is towards the end of the pack.
LEafs prospects are among the most undervalued on these boards. Don't you know they all suck and should be traded for 6th and 7th round picks?