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Leafs sign D Gardiner to 5-year deal

By By The Sports Xchange
Published On: Jul 29 2014 07:38:47 PM CDT
Updated On: Jul 30 2014 09:34:29 AM CDT
hockey sticks, generic, NHL

Shaun Best / Reuters

Defenseman Jake Gardiner signed a five-year contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, the team announced Tuesday.

According to multiple media reports, Gardiner will make $4.05 million per season throughout the deal. USA Today Sports reported that the cap hit is the second highest on the team behind that of defenseman Dion Phaneuf, the Leafs' captain.

Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri tweeted, "@Jgardiner272 I know who's picking up next dinner. Feeling like steak"

Gardiner, a 24-year-old Minnesota native, led Maple Leafs blue-liners with 10 goals last season, and he added 21 assists in his 80 games. He played just 12 games with the Leafs in 2012-13 after appearing in 75 as a rookie the previous year, when he recorded a career-high 23 assists.

The Anaheim Ducks drafted Gardiner 18th overall in 2008 out of the University of Wisconsin. Anaheim dealt Gardiner, winger Joffrey Lupul and future draft pick to the Maple Leafs in February 2011 for defenseman Francois Beauchemin.