Marlies coach responds to #FreeJakeGardiner tweet

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The Toronto hockey media horde was out in full force at Marlies practice this morning, eager to follow up on a tweet from Jake Gardiner’s agent that suggested the young defenseman needed to be “freed” from the AHL club and promoted to the suddenly struggling Maple Leafs.

“From his agent’s standpoint, I’m not sure it was well thought out,” said Marlies coach Dallas Eakins, per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

As for Gardiner, the 22-year-old played it a bit more diplomatically than his representative did last night: “I’m just waiting for my opportunity.”

Gardiner has 30 points in 40 games with the Marlies this season, and with the parent club having lost three straight, his opportunity could theoretically be coming soon.

Unless, of course, Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle decides he won’t have his plans dictated by agents.

Update (3:59 p.m. ET):

Via TSN’s Jonas Siegel, here’s Carlyle: “When we feel it’s time for Jake Gardiner to come back we’re going to make that decision, and we’re not going to be influenced by anybody other than the people that are doing the assessing.”