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