Teams around the NHL better watch their step because the Jake Gardiner has finally been released.
On Tuesday afternoon, the Toronto Maple Leafs assigned defenseman Korbinian Holzer to the American Hockey League's Toronto Marlies. The decision came as somewhat of a surprise given that Maple Leafs head coach Randy Carlyle answered questions about Holzer during his post-morning skate media availability on Tuesday and made no mention of him being sent down.
However, the move logistically makes sense given that Holzer is the only member of the team's defense corps that could be sent to the AHL without the use of waivers.
Once the news had broken that Holzer was being assigned to the AHL, speculation began that Gardiner was the player coming back up. Later in the afternoon, several reports surfaced confirming the speculation and the return of Gardiner to the Maple Leafs roster.
The Maple Leafs will return to action on Wednesday night when they host the Tampa Bay Lightning.