Whatever it was that Jake Gardiner said to his agent on the telephone Wednesday morning, the young defenceman wasn’t about to share it with those who had surrounded him with cameras and microphones outside the Toronto Marlies dressing room.

He looked the way he usually looks in front of the Toronto lights, part-deer, part-headlights, somewhat frozen, unemotional and just a little bit stoic.

“It’s his choice to do that,” Gardiner said of his agent, Ben Hankinson, who had taken to Twitter on the same night the Leafs were thumped by the Winnipeg Jets and written #FreeJakeGardiner.

“It’s his choice,” said Gardiner. “Not much I can really control ... I don’t think he meant any harm by it.”

Gardiner said that. His words may have seemed true. Perhaps they were. But his body language spoke differently.

His body language said: I’m only out here speaking to you fine media people because my %^$#%& agent got me in the headlines, and now I have to cover his ass and explain everything.