The clock is ticking on the Mitch Marner RFA negotiations and everybody is on the edge of their seat waiting to see if Kyle Dubas can get it done. 

There's another situation which is taking longer than some people were hoping for and that's Jake Gardiner's free agency experience. 

The career Maple Leaf was expected to be the top defenseman on the open market and possibly land a long term deal at $7million per season, however he hasn't landed any deal so far. 

During a recent segment on the NHL Network, Mike Johnson went over the top remaining free agents with Gardiner sitting at the top of the list. 

Johnson believes Gardiner is still around because he's waiting on the Maple Leafs. 

"I think he's not gotten the contract he wanted the seven years $7million type thing, so I think he's holding out hope that Toronto can get something done maybe clear out a body and maybe get him back there. 

My two teams that might be a good fit for Jake Gardiner...

Toronto... Because he loves it there, they know it works despite the rough ride he gets from the fans. He wants to go back because he loves it there, loves the city, loves the guys they're a good team and he has a great role there. They' are one defenseman shy of a full six. 

The other one?

Toronto's rival, Montreal. 

I still think a left shot defenseman of Jake Gardiner's skill would be a really good fit and there's room and cap space to acquire him."

Source: NHL Network