Jake Gardiner Returning to Maple Leafs Lineup

The Toronto Maple Leafs will have a pleasant addition to their lineup on Wednesday when defenseman, Jake Gardiner makes his return to the ice.  David Alter of Sportsnet 590 THE FAN confirmed Wednesday afternoon that the former first round draft pick of the Anaheim Ducks will indeed suit up for the Leafs tonight when they travel to Pittsburgh to face Sidney Crosby and the Penguins.

Gardiner has shown tremendous signs of improvement in the last week from his concussion and whiplash injury that sidelined the Minnesota native earlier this year and was adamant that he was feeling fine and was ready to get back into game action.

Ultimately the decision was left up to head coach Randy Carlyle and when considering what Gardiner brings to the table, it was an easy one after he learnt of his clean bill of health.

Last season with the Maple Leafs he scored 7 goals and added 23 assists while playing in 75 games during his rookie year, which included a spot on the 2011-12 1st NHL all-rookie team. He averaged over twenty-one minutes of ice-time and was a modest plus-2 on the season, proving he’s a reliable defender.

The 22-year old was part of the trade between the Leafs and Ducks that also sent Joffrey Lupul to Toronto for defenceman Francois Beauchemin.

The Maple Leafs have assigned Korbinian Holzer to make room on the roster for Gardiner.

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Tags: Jake Gardiner Toronto Maple Leafs

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