Jake Gardiner D TOR 25 Days

The Leafs will have a new-look top pairing on defense, and it could include Jake Gardiner.

With Carl Gunnarsson now gone, there is an opening on the first defensive pair with Dion Phaneuf. Gardiner is likely to get the first crack at that job. Morgan Rielly is also set for an expanded role next season as well. "Those guys are going to have to take steps forward," general manager Dave Nonis said. "It might be a lot to ask for Morgan a little bit in his second year, but he made some pretty big strides last year and we would expect that he'll take some more next [year]. And I think Jake is a good possibility [of doing the same] as well."

Jake Gardiner D TOR 29 Days

The Maple Leafs are discussing what is believed to be a two-year bridge contract with defenseman Jake Gardiner.

That deal is reportedly worth around $2.25 million or $3 million per season. Gardiner just completed his entry-level contract. He generated a career high 10 goals and 31 points in 80 games last year.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 1 Month

Leafs GM Dave Nonis admitted that using Jake Gardiner as a forward has come up in discussions before, but it doesn't appear to be something that will happen.

"He was a forward, he started as a forward. He played more of his formative years as a forward," Nonis said. "There's been some talk of it, but I think he gives us an element at the back end that would be hard to replace. He can skate the puck out, pretty good on the power play. So I think right now, we would keep him back there, but ..." Gardiner's name has come up in trade rumors again this off-season, but if he stays in Toronto then it's hard to imagine that he won't be a defenseman again in 2014-15.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 2 Months

Former assistant coach Scott Gordon took exception to comments that Randy Carlyle doesn't get along with Jake Gardiner.

"There's this perception that Randy doesn't like Jake Gardiner, and it's comical," Gordon said. "I can't tell you how many times that Randy has said that the thought of trading Jake can't even be discussed until he's played 300 games [in the NHL]. He personally thinks it takes 300 games for a defenseman to get to the point where you can make a decision on them." Gardiner's name has surfaced in trade rumors again this off-season. He 167 NHL games under his belt and he's contributed 65 points.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 3 Months

Jake Gardiner will play for Team USA at the World Hockey Championships next month in Minsk, Belarus.

Gardiner notched new personal bests in 2013-14 with 10 goals and 31 points in 80 games.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 3 Months

Jake Gardiner assisted on both of Toronto's goals in a 4-2 loss to Florida Thursday.

He established a new personal best with 31 points as a result of the two-point effort. Gardiner has finished the season on a positive note. He has produced five goals and nine assists in his past 17 outings.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 4 Months

Jake Gardiner recorded two assists in Toronto's 4-2 loss on Saturday.

Gardiner has recorded at least a point in six of his last seven contests. That gives him 10 goals and 28 points in 74 games in 2013-14.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 4 Months

Jake Gardiner contributed a pair of assists in Tuesday's game versus St. Louis.

He helped set up Joffrey Lupul's power-play goal in the first and James van Riemsdyk's goal late in the third. The mobile rearguard has five goals and three helpers in his last 10 outings.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 4 Months

Jake Gardiner potted his 10th goal of the season in Wednesday's loss to Tampa Bay.

He has been jumping into the rush often lately and has recorded five goals in his last seven games as a result. The mobile defenseman has 22 points in 69 matches this season, but his recent hot streak could make him a decent pickup down the stretch.

Jake Gardiner D TOR 4 Months

Defenseman Jake Gardiner registered his ninth goal of the season in Tuesday's 3-2 loss to Detroit.

Gardiner's power play marker came on a beautiful offensive fort after he picked up Morgan Rielly's long dump-in and deked Detroit goalie Jimmy Howard. James van Riemsdyk also contributed by netting his 27th goal in the defeat.