The NHL draft is just around the corner and by now, we bet the Toronto Maple Leafs were hoping to have forward Mitch Marner under contract.
However, both sides have been quite mum on contract discussions lately which makes many believe that Marner has indeed decided to test out the free market and meet with other NHL teams during the RFA offer sheet interview period that begins on June 26th.
At the end of May, TVA Sports’ Renaud Lavoie mentioned that general manager Kyle Dubas could threaten to trade Marner on Draft day on June 21st, which would mean something would need to get done in the next few days.
However, NHL insider Darren Dreger believes one thing will get conversation between Dubas and Marner going again and that is a new contract offer.
Dreger mentioned on TSN 1050 that the Leafs would need to come with an offer of at least $10.5M AAV to get a discussion going on a new contract with Marner.
It is expected that Marner will be seeking Auston Matthews money, he who agreed to a $11.6 million AAV that he signed prior to the trade deadline back in February.
The Maple Leafs have over $74.2 million invested in 17 players for 2019-20 and are one of the teams fearing that the NHL salary cap for next season could be well below the initial estimate of $83 million.
Some fans were encouraged two weeks ago when NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that the Leafs will offer an eight-year extension extension to Marner before he can get a taste of the free market out there. He added that it could be worth around $88 millions or in that vicinity.
However, for now, it seems like process has staled in Toronto.