It was a long summer for defenseman Jake Gardiner after a long career with the Toronto Maple Leafs ended with heartbreak at the hands of the Boston Bruins once again. Gardiner became an unrestricted free agent and ended up waiting until September to sign a four-year contract with the Carolina Hurricanes. In a long interview with The Athletic’s James Mirtle (subscription required), Gardiner explains exactly why he chose to leave a hockey hotbed for quieter Carolina, even confirming that he turned down a bigger offer from the Montreal Canadiens.
After the piece was published, Mirtle’s colleague Pierre LeBrun tweeted that there are teams around the league wondering if they can pluck Gardiner out of Carolina given his relatively low usage behind stars like Jaccob Slavin and Dougie Hamilton. Gardiner is currently averaging just over 16 minutes a night for the Hurricanes. The 29-year old comes with a $4.05MM cap hit and holds a seven-team no-trade list.
- The New York Islanders will not issue an update on Cal Clutterbuck’s status until tomorrow, other than he was allowed to fly home with them following their game against the Boston Bruins. Clutterbuck had his wrist sliced by the skate of Patrice Bergeron, immediately dropping his glove and leaving the game. Injuries caused by a skate blade are always hard to watch, especially after the recent incident involving junior goaltender Tucker Tynan. As always, Clutterbuck has been a solid contributor for the Islanders this season, leading the team in hits and all forwards in blocked shots.
- Former NHL goaltender Jhonas Enroth could return to the SHL after having his KHL contract with Dinamo Minsk terminated. The 31-year old actually posted a .909 save percentage during his 153-game NHL career, but struggled in his most recent stint with the Toronto Maple Leafs in 2016-17. The undersized netminder was originally a second-round pick of the Buffalo Sabres in 2006 and has regularly suited up for Sweden in international competitions.