January 25, 2013
Maple Leafs send Jake Gardiner to Marlies
By TERRY KOSHAN, QMI Agency

Jake Gardiner at MasterCard Centre Jan. 22, 2013. (MICHAEL PEAKE/QMI Agency)

TORONTO - The Maple Leafs want Jake Gardiner to re-discover his game.

And Gardiner, who made the NHL’s all-rookie team last season, will do it with the Toronto Marlies.

The Leafs on Friday afternoon sent the 22-year-old defenceman to their American Hockey League affiliate, this after Gardiner played in two games after returning from a concussion.

“It’s just about him finding his legs again,” Leafs vice-president of hockey operations Dave Poulin said. “He has to get comfortable. He was off for quite a long lapse.”

Gardiner was hurt on Dec. 8 during a game with the Marlies and missed all of the Leafs’ practices in the abbreviated training camp. He played in Pittsburgh against the Penguins on Wednesday night and was in the lineup at home against the New York Islanders on Thursday night.

“I felt a lot better in the second game than I did the first game,” Gardiner told the Toronto Sun before he was sent to the Marlies. “The legs were a little heavy the first game, and I think that is part of being not used to it for a while and getting back at it.


“Everything feels good.”

Gardiner was minus-1 in the two games and averaged 19 minutes 28 seconds of ice time.

Poulin said there is no timetable for Gardiner’s return to the Leafs. Gardiner will be in the Marlies lineup on Saturday when they play host to Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.

Gardiner’s demotion leaves the Leafs with seven defencemen: captain Dion Phaneuf, John-Michael Liles, Mike Kostka, Carl Gunnarsson, Cody Franson, Mike Komisarek and Mark Fraser.

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