Jake Gardiner has been freed, will play tonight versus Detroit

Defenseman Jake Gardiner will be back in the Maple Leafs’ lineup tonight, according to approximately three million tweets from Toronto reporters.

Gardiner has been a healthy scratch the past two games, both Toronto wins. When asked the other day what the 24-year-old defenseman — the same guy who signed a five-year, $20.25 million contract extension in the summer — could do to stay in the lineup, coach Randy Carlyle replied, “Play better.”

Expected to take Gardiner’s spot in the press box will be veteran¬†Stephane Robidas. The 37-year-old — the same guy who signed a three-year, $9 million contract in the summer — logged just 13:28 of ice time in Tuesday’s 3-2 overtime win versus Colorado, by far the lowest of any Leaf d-man that night.

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