Montreal Canadiens made Jake Gardiner an offer before he signed with Carolina

·NHL Editor

Jake Gardiner on the Montreal Canadiens? It could have happened.

Marc Bergevin, General Manager of the Habs confirmed that the club made an offer to Gardiner, but the UFA preferred a trip south of the border and signed with the Carolina Hurricanes instead.

Gardiner signed the four-year, $16.2 million contract with Carolina last week as an unrestricted free agent after eight-years with the Maple Leafs. Maybe lacing up for an arch rival deterred Gardiner from the move across province lines.

The 29-year-old defenseman could have been an upgrade for Montreal’s blueline, especially as a quarterback on their struggling power-play.

With uncertainty over his back injury, it’s possible Montreal wasn’t able to offer as long a term as Carolina with four years of security. The Habs sit at just over $4-million in cap space so the offer might have been in that dollar-range.

Either way, Gardiner gets a fresh start away and a role as a top-four defender in Carolina, a change he is very excited about.

Jake Gardiner could have joined the Habs. (Getty)
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