Major turnaround in status of Mitch Marner in Toronto

Major turnaround in status of Mitch Marner in Toronto

Following the latest rumblings surrounding his future with the Maple Leafs:

Chris Gosselin

Many insiders, pundits and fans believe that star forward Mitch Marner has played his last game for the Toronto Maple Leafs. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman strongly believes that the outcome will surprise everyone in this delicate situation and shared the update, while hoping not to “pour gasoline on the fire”.

“One of the things a few people have told me is not to be surprised if this plays out over next season with Marner in Toronto,” Friedman said.

“This is such a delicate conversation between player and team because everyone is determined to look like a winner here.”

It’s been known from the start that there are many obstacles in moving such the star player, whose current deal sees him paid a shade over $10.9 million against the cap. Marner and his camp can start negotiations o a new deal as early as July, 1st, and will most likely be in line for a raise. Let’s not forget also how the Maple Leafs gave Marner a full no-move clause in his contract so he will have the final say on where he ends up if he is moved.

Friedman maintains that the Maple Leafs want to make the best move for everyone involved and that they cannot risk a “swing and a miss with this one”.

The insider went on to compare Marner’s situation to the one that came up back in 2019 for Nazem Kadri and we understand why the Maple Leafs do not want to repeat the same fiasco.

“I think there are people in the organization who are looking at this and believe, could this be Kadri 2.0’? Where Marner goes somewhere else, the spotlight is less intense, he learns how to balance everything, and goes out and becomes a key player on a Stanley Cup Champion in another city.”

While I see that some points are somewhat similar, this is not totally comparable, though I see how much pressure there is for general manager Brad Treliving and the rest of management to get this right.

Marner, who has spent his entire NHL career with the Maple Leafs, posted 26 goals and 59 assists for a total of 85 points in 69 games in the 2023-24 season. He has however drawn considerable criticism in recent years for his lack of killer instinct in the postseason, and has taken plenty of the blame for the fact that the franchise has only won a single playoff round since 2004.

Source: Elliotte Friedman