Leafs Re-sign Gardiner to Five-Year Contract.

TSN reports the Toronto Maple Leafs have re-signed defenseman Jake Gardiner to a five-year, $20.25 million contract extension. 

Jake Gardiner signs a 5-year extension with the Leafs.

Jake Gardiner signs a 5-year extension with the Leafs.

 SPECTOR’S NOTE: The new deal is worth $4.05 million per season, a significant pay raise for a young blueliner coming off an entry-level contract. Gardiner tallied 10 goals and 31 points last season with the Leafs in 81 games, but he also reportedly struggled under head coach Randy Carlyle, becoming the frequent subject of trade rumors.

With this contract the Leafs are indicating their willingness to stick with Gardiner for the long-term, though his contract is a bit of an eye-raiser. I expected he’d get a two-year bridge contract worth around $2.5 million annually. This deal also suggests the Leafs envision Gardiner playing a much larger role on their blueline in the coming years.

It also creates an interesting situation for young Leafs center Nazem Kadri. While Gardiner’s a defenseman and Kadri’s a center, both are apparently seen as key young pieces of the Leafs roster. Like Gardiner, Kadri was also the subject of trade speculation last season but GM Dave Nonis said he wouldn’t move either player unless he got a player of equivalent skill and age in return. Kadri is in the final year of his contract earning $2.9 million, and could point to Gardiner’s recent raise as a basis for his next deal. 

16 Comments

  1. Dubas anyone?

    • Leafs have some cap space to spare now.
      I bet the idea is they hope that 4/5 years from now he’ll be a steal at this price.
      I imagine he’ll outlive Carlyle anyway.

    • Nice deal. Right along the lines I was hoping for. This is turning out to be a better offseason than I could have dreamed of. Lost most of the management and coaching staff no stupid big contracts for 3rfd liners (hell the whole 3rd line cost about 3 million bucks on 1 year deals instead of just Bolland for 5.5) a new younger AGM who uses all the tools in the box, and of course Shanny to start the whole thing. Its like Christmas for me as a Leaf fan right now. Now just up to Gardiner to keep using his skills, and maturing.

      • Nice deal??? 4 million for Jake gardiner? Wow what r leafs doing its like they like making bad signings!! What has he done except get burned a whole lot??

        • 31 points for a 24 year old D man best posession player on a bad posession team, played 20 mins plus a night was some how only a minus -4 playong with Franson (so he didnt get beat too much considering) how much did Kulikov (19 points -26) get? Soo a guy who is younger with better all round stats cheaper deal locked up for 4 mill for 5 years best posession player on the team. I know your kinda slow Jason or jello whatever but….its a good deal.

          • Agreed. Contracts are always a risk but this could end up looking like the JVR contract assuming he continues to develop. Some of the Leafs off season moves looked to add stay at home minded D-men to insulate offence minded players like Gardiner and Rielly. I’ll take this contract over what Bolland wanted any day!

            Can only hope Clarkson rebounds after a horrid 1st season with the Leafs eating far too much cap space relative to his productivity.

          • What do u know another leaf fan over valuing a player!! Lol schticky I know your pretty dumb but stop writing stupid stuff on here cmon give people a break! If u can’t see kulikov has way more potential than quit watching hockey

          • Yup. Many Flames fans think we should have done the same with Brodie rather than give him a bridge deal.

            Although I think the Flames are handling the Brodie situation properly this is a smart deal. Would have been good if they could have tacked another year on.

  2. Would have rather a 3 year deal with lower salary which would have left 1 year of rfa but can’t complain to much decent value.. Only compliant is what does this do to Reilly’s contract in couple years?

    • Same thing bridge with the first rfa (no arbitration for him) deal 2 years take him to 23 and decide then.

      • Correct me if I’m wrong but I don’t think jake had a bridge deal. 3 year entry coming out of college before this deal.

        • College player you are correct but was 21 when he signed his first deal, Rielly was only 18 so his next deal I believe he has no arbitration rights, then a 2 year deal would take him to 23 the same as Gardiner now and hopefully by a year or 2 of ufa years just the same after that.

          • Gardiner didn’t have any arb rights this time

          • So basically you would save maybe a mill for a couple years doing that, and if he worked out or kept improving, you could be looking at 5 or 6 mill (at least depending on where the cap is judging the way contracts seem to be going) in 3 years, long term. This way if he continues to be a top 4 or even beyter develops in to a top pair type you are lamost getting him for half price for the final 2 years. Think this way 3×3 would be 9 then 6 for 2 would be 21 mill right? And that woul be at 28 and 29 years old so at thst point as his first ufa deal there is very little chance he only signs for 2 years….imo this is the smarter way to do it Id rather lock him up till he is 29 cheap as possible…those will be his best years instead waiting till 27 then paying big bucks for 27, 28, 29 snd continuing with big bucks after he turns 30 31 …etc when his speed will start to taper off snd his numbers start to decline. Just my opinion.

          • No you are right it’s not a bad deal. Just sets a precedent for Reilly and future players is all I’m saying. If they would have Kept it short 2 years prove it contract they would have something to back them up with reilly but now they don’t. Like I said can’t really complain. Just a thought

    • Wonder if the Habs are now thinking they should have locked up Subban on a longer term deal when they had the chance? What’s he going to cost to get signed? The bridge deal isn’t always the best option.