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Gardiner could provide differing opinions in Leafs organization


Could Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Gardiner be causing internal disagreement between general manager Dave Nonis and head coach Randy Carlyle?

From Steve Simmons of the Toronto Sun (Read the full article here):

The talented but erratic Gardiner would represent a challenge for any coach. But for a coach who demands specifics as much as Carlyle does, this almost seems like a relationship doomed to fail.

This is where Nonis fits in. He has the patience of Job. He’s not willing to make a determination of Gardiner, either way, this early.

He believes too many teams have made mistakes determining the fate of young defencemen, way too soon. It’s his inclination to allow Gardiner to develop at whatever speed is necessary. Carlyle, who hasn’t said as much, can’t possibly agree.

In 25 games this season, the 23-year-old blue liner has six assists and points.

His 2013-14 campaign hasn’t gone according to plan, as he’s endured his share of on-ice struggles. (Although he started alongside Dion Phaneuf against the Montreal Canadiens tonight with Cody Franson scratched after appearing to suffer an injury during warm-up, as per Jonas Siegel of TSN 1050.)

Carlyle wasn’t too impressed with Gardiner’s training camp, and the defenseman hasn’t escaped trade speculation that began almost as soon as the season started.

Earlier this week, he was a healthy scratch when the Leafs played the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Derek Roy signs in Swiss league

Derek Roy, Jeremy Smith, Chris Kelly
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Derek Roy has finally found work — but it’s not in the NHL.

Roy, who spent the entire preseason in Washington’s camp on a PTO, has signed with SC Bern of Switzerland’s National League A, the club announced on Friday.

The news comes after Roy narrowly missed out on making the Caps roster, and just one year after he had something of a bounce-back campaign in Edmonton, scoring 22 points in 46 games while developing chemistry with young winger Nail Yakupov.

A 12-year NHL veteran, Roy is one of the more prominent names to be squeezed out of work this season, and head overseas. The 31-year-old has scored over 500 points in 738 career contests, and has twice represented Canada at the World Hockey Championships.

With Bern, Roy will play on one of Switzerland’s stronger teams, alongside a trio of ex-NHLers: Chuck Kobasew, Andrew Ebbett and Cory Conacher.

Lehner’s injury ‘doesn’t look like it’s short term’

Robin Lehner
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Robin Lehner might not be back anytime soon.

Making his debut with the Buffalo Sabres, the 24-year-old goaltender couldn’t complete Thursday’s game against his former squad, the Ottawa Senators, due to what has now been revealed to be a right leg injury.

When he left the arena, he was wearing a walking boot on that nearly went up to his knee.

“It doesn’t look like it’s short term,” Sabres coach Dan Bylsma told the Buffalo News. “It’s more than day-to-day at this point, but we need to evaluate further.”

It’s a rocky start to what’s an important campaign for Lehner. He has been given an opportunity to demonstrate that he’s ready to be a starting goaltender after being acquired by the Sabres over the summer, but it looks like that will have to be postponed.

While he’s sidelined, Chad Johnson is likely to be leaned on heavily.