Jake Gardiner
Reports indicate the Leafs have signed prospect Jake Gardiner to a 3-year Entry Level Contract.

After last night’s loss to Tampa Bay, you could probably use some good news this morning.

A report out of Minnesota has noted the Leafs have signed prospect Jake Gardiner — the key acquisition in the Francois Beauchemin trade — to an entry-level contract, following the University of Wisonson’s elimination from the WCHA playoffs earlier this weekend.

While contract details are not yet available, The Toronto Star’s Damian Cox speculated on Twitter this morning that the ELC is most likely set to kick in for the start of the 2011-12 season, meaning Gardiner would have to sign an Amateur Tryout (ATO) contract in order to play out the rest of this season with the Marlies.

There is seemingly little sense in burning a year of Gardiner’s ELC eligibility — and more importantly, waiver exemption — for the sake of getting him into a handful of AHL games this season. An ATO would serve as a nifty workaround, allowing him to play for the Marlies while at the same time preserving the extra year of his ELC (which would presumably run from 2011-12 through 2013-14).

As noted by PPP, the timing of Matt Lashoff’s call-up would suggest that is exactly the team’s intent: the call-up, coupled with the signing, provides each team with seven defenders on its roster.

Contract details to be posted when available.


It appears as though Colby Armstrong will miss the balance of the season with a broken foot, sustained while blocking a shot in last night’s loss. To fill his roster spot, top prospect Nazem Kadri is expected to be officially recalled to the Maple Leafs this afternoon.

In 44 games this season with the Marlies, Kadri has recorded 17 goals, 24 assists, and 62 penalty minutes.

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