Leafs scratch Gardiner for third time this season

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It’s fair to say that this was not what the Maple Leafs were hoping for when they inked defenseman Jake Gardiner to a five-year, $20.25 million contract over the summer as for the third time this season, Gardiner has been listed as a healthy scratch, per PHT’s Dhiren Mahiban. Korbinian Holzer is playing against the Philadelphia Flyers instead.

Gardiner’s latest stint in the press box wasn’t entirely unforeseen. As previously reported, Maple Leafs coach Randy Carlyle has been less than thrilled with his “very erratic” play.

The 24-year-old blueliner had a minus-two rating in 19:42 minutes of ice time on Thursday to drop to a team-worst minus-11 this season. He’s also been limited to eight points in 30 games after recording 31 points in 2013-14.

This isn’t the first time Gardiner has failed to please Carlyle and at one point last year #FreeJakeGardiner was making the rounds.