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