Jake Gardiner, Toronto Maple Leafs Strike Five-Year, $20.25M Contract

The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed defenseman Jake Gardiner to a five-year contract worth $20.25 million, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.

The 24-year-old blueliner was a restricted free agent after his three-year deal worth $3.35 million expired following the 2013-14 season. This extension puts the Leafs $978,000 over the NHL’s salary cap with 25 players signed for 2014-15, per CapGeek.

The former University of Wisconsin star tallied 31 points (10 goals, 21 assists) in 80 games last season.

Gardiner is an important part of a Toronto blue line that includes captain Dion Phaneuf, free-agent signing Stephane Robidas and Morgan Rielly (fifth overall pick in 2012 NHL draft).

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