Jake Gardiner spoke with Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star about his new five-year, $20.25-million contract, as well as his relationship with Randy Carlyle, getting to know the new assistant coaches and finding a new place to stay with Morgan Rielly. He’s also excited about the changes the team has made in the offseason. There are a plethora of options of players for Gardiner to be paired with; it will be up to Carlyle to figure out which will maximize his effectiveness.
Gardiner also appeared on Greg Brady and Andrew Walker’s show on Sportsnet 590 yesterday morning. An interesting nugget he touches on is that he and Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Dave Nonis were talking about signing a two-year contract from the outset, but those talks eventually progressed to both sides realizing a long-term deal would be better. The audio file is posted by Maple Leafs Hot Stove.
What kind of changes will Kyle Dubas bring to the Toronto Maple Leafs in terms of on-ice play? It’s no secret Dubas is a big believer in puck possession, but Randy Carlyle’s coaching strategies often run counter to that kind of philosophy. In other words, with Carlyle at the helm, the Leafs have been an awful possession team. If the Leafs’ front office is starting to shift towards a more modern view of the game, will Carlyle adapt? James Onusko of Bleacher Report examines that issue.
Steve Burtch of Pension Plan Puppets debates a few preconceived notions people have regarding Cody Franson’s play over the last few seasons. Using Burtch’s dCorsi metric, we find Franson is actually one of the best possession defenders given his usage in the league.