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Carolina Hurricanes

Did Jake Gardiner Turn Down Millions Only to Be On Trade Block?

Is Jake Gardiner on the trade block in Carolina and if so, how does he feel about his decision to sign there and leave millions on the table from the Montreal Canadiens?

Jake Gardiner recently spoke with The Athletic and discussed his season thus far, recovering from his injuries and his decision to sign with the Carolina Hurricanes this past off-season. Of note in the interview is how revealing Gardiner was about the process of his free agency decision.

There’s no hiding the fact that Gardiner has not had a wonderful go of it thus far in Carolina. There are reports the team is already open to talking to teams that are interested in acquiring his services. In one such report, Pierre LeBrun of TSN noted that teams might be calling, and that while the Hurricanes like the idea of great depth on the blue line and keeping Gardiner is likely the plan, they are listening.

If true, this has to be hurtful reality for Gardiner who turned down another deal before joining the Hurricanes — one that would have paid him millions of dollars more over the length of the contract.

Gardiner detailed how the Montreal Canadiens were interested in signing him but that they were looking for a decision rather quickly. Between that and having played for Toronto for so many years, something about going to Montreal didn’t feel right.

James Mirtle of The Athletic (subscription required) writes:

He [Gardiner] actually turned down a lucrative contract – believed to be more than $5-million a season – from the Montreal Canadiens on July 3, which led to his long wait for a new deal as other teams moved players around and created cap space.

Gardiner Doesn’t Regret His Decision

If Gardiner continues not to play well, he could be moved. Facing that reality, he says he’s not upset about his decision. Gardiner was open about how much he liked Carolina, he and his family recently bought a house and they are moving up there in the next few weeks.

Hopefully he can get things turned around so that the move isn’t all for nothing.

Related: Key Players in the Ottawa Senators 5-4 Overtime Win Against the Nashville Predators

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