By Tony Ambrogio (@SNTonyAmbrogio)
As Mike Komisarek walked into the room, he saw the large media scrum surrounding defenseman Jake Gardiner and said, “Jake Gardiner is free!”
A week after his agent sent out a #FreeJakeGardiner tweet, the Toronto Maple Leafs called up the defenseman who will play tonight against Tampa Bay.
“He did an excellent job,” Leafs Coach Randy Carlyle said when asked how Gardiner handled his time in the American Hockey League. “We just felt Jake had played very well in the last 10 days.”
Korbinian Holzer was sent down to the minors to make room for Gardiner, who had 30 points in 75 games with the Maple Leafs last season as a 21 year-old.
But a concussion in the American Hockey League in December kept him off the ice for several weeks. When he played a couple of games with the Leafs in January, Carlyle and Leafs management didn’t like what they were seeing.
So Gardiner went down to the Marlies and over the last few weeks he started to show th...