While William Nylander’s contract talks are currently at the top of the to-do list for the Maple Leafs, they also have a notable pending UFA on the books in defenseman Jake Gardiner. TSN’s Darren Dreger reports (video link) that the team plans to discuss an extension with the 28-year-old in the next few weeks. Gardiner is coming off a very productive season that saw him post a career-high 52 points and if Toronto’s attack is as potent as some believe it will be, he could certainly equal or improve upon that total in 2018-19. With that in mind, Dreger speculates that it will take an offer in the high $6MM to low $7MM range to lock him up which would represent a significant increase on his current $4.05MM AAV.
More from the Atlantic:
- The Canadiens tried to move center Michael McCarron over the summer, reports TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie. However, teams weren’t willing to part with a draft pick for him as they were anticipating he’d be on waivers. That was indeed the case and he passed through unclaimed on Wednesday. Presumably, Montreal will now hope that their top pick in 2013 rebuilds some value in Laval although they also could look to flip him for a player in a similar situation in the hopes that a change of scenery proves to be beneficial.
- With a spot in the top nine looking unlikely, Red Wings head coach Jeff Blashill suggested to reporters, including Ted Kulfan of the Detroit News, that winger Filip Zadina could be heading to AHL Grand Rapids to start the season. The sixth-overall pick back in June was viewed as one of the more NHL-ready players in the 2018 draft class but if the 18-year-old is only going to be able to play limited minutes in Detroit, going down to the minors and playing a top role would likely be the better move in terms of his development.