Front-runner already emerges in potential Mitch Marner trade!

Front-runner already emerges in potential Mitch Marner trade!

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Chris Gosselin

After another disappointing playoff run in Toronto, the Maple Leafs face tough questions and many surround winger Mitch Marner, who will enter the final year of his contract in October and can sign an extension as early as July 1. Following the Leafs’ elimination at the hands of (yet again) the Boston Bruins, Marner has become the most expendable of Toronto’s “Core Four” of forward talent and rumours of a blockbuster trade have surfaced.

And just like that, a front-runner has already emerged for the 27-year-old winger.

According to Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast, the Maple Leafs could be looking for defensemen in a trade that will be hard for GM Brad Treliving to win.

“If they do make a Marner trade… maybe they don’t ‘win the trade’ and get a stud defenseman,” Friedman said. “But I would think a defenseman would be part of that package.”

With that, there is a sense that the Maple Leafs could strike a deal with their former general manager Kyle Dubas in Pittsburgh. The Penguins have quite a large pool of NHL-level defenders to choose from, like P.O. Joseph. Here is what Nick Horwat of the Hockey News says about a potential trade:

“A full deal for the Penguins to acquire Marner would include many extra pieces. Several prospects and draft picks would be involved, but the meat of the deal would center around big names and big contracts.”

The Hockey News also suggests other trade destinations for Marner, including the New York Islanders, Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks and the new team recently relocated to Utah.

With just one season left on his current deal, which also holds a no-move clause, Marner is in control when it comes to a potential trade. The Maple Leafs will have to sell low and could find the best deal in Pittsburgh with former GM Dubas.

The Penguins are likely to take full advantage of the opportunity.

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Source: Elliotte Friedman and The Hockey News