The Montreal Canadiens waisted no time and made an offer to defenseman Jake Gardiner during the opening of free agency.
Yesterday we found out the offer was for three years and worth $5.25million a season.
The speculation yesterday was that Gardiner rejected the offer because he was looking for the one with the most term, however that doesn't seem to be the case.
Elliotte Friedman told SN650 that Gardiner wanted to stay in Toronto.
The defenseman's priority all along was to stay in Toronto and if that couldn't be accomplished he wanted to pick a "quiet media market".
Friedman confirmed that Gardiner received strong interest from the Canadiens, Vancouver Canucks and Winnipeg Jets but didn't want to deal with the heavy media presence in those markets.
It seems much like Matt Duchene, Gardiner just wasn't strong enough to deal with the Montreal media.
Friedman thinks Gardiner wanted to stay in Toronto but TOR couldn't make it work. WPG/VAN/MTL were interested but Friedman thinks Gardiner decided that if he couldn't come back to TOR, he would pick a quiet media market.
— James (@Account4hockey) September 10, 2019