During Monday afternoon’s contest against the Carolina Hurricanes at Scotiabank Arena, the Toronto Maple Leafs paid homage to one of their longest-tenured defenceman in their recent history.
It was a long eight years for Jake Gardiner in Toronto — filled with rebuilding and some success — but he is a big reason why the Leafs are where they are now. To show their appreciation, the organization played the following video tribute during the first period of the contest.
Gardiner was never in the spotlight, but played a consistent top role on the Leafs’ blue line during his 577 regular season and playoff games with Toronto.
Drafted by the Anaheim Ducks in 2008 before being traded to Toronto alongside Joffrey Lupul in 2011, the 29-year-old defenceman scored 47 goals and 257 points during his time in the blue and white.
The fans present for the tribute clearly recognized his past importance on their team.
Standing ovation for Jake Gardiner in Toronto after video tribute.— luke fox (@lukefoxjukebox) December 23, 2019
Through 36 games on the Hurricanes this season, Gardiner has two goals and eight points for his new club.
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