The Leafs turned in a somewhat lackluster performance last night against the Grand Rapids Griffins (presented by Amway) and I'm not sure there was any definitive solution to the logjam on defense. I still expect Jake Gardiner to wind up on the Marlies, but we should find out sometime later today or tomorrow for sure. Vintage Leaf Memories is having similar thoughts on the young American:
I have little doubt he can play in the league now from an overall talent perspective. I just remember too many times in the past when we rushed kids. Not to raise the spectre of the early '80s, but we did it then, to the detriment of good young defensemen. More recently, people forget that Carlo Colaiacovo looked great one pre-season and "made" the team. Then he made a few errors, became tentative and ended up being sent back down. That can rock your confidence.
Ultimately the decision falls to Brian Burke, Ron Wilson, and the rest of the deep front office staff. If Gardiner does stay up, you have to think we'll see a move to open up a roster spot.
Links after the jump...
NHL.com has a little piece on el Capitan
No Mac, just a no headshot league
Lukas Hardonk of the Hockey Writers on "the core"
MLHS has a bit of a recap