It feels like Mitch Marner is looking to go window-shopping this summer, and Toronto Maple Leafs fans are hoping he doesn’t find something he likes elsewhere on the market.
NHL insider Darren Dreger has reported on TSN 1050 on Tuesday that he expects Marner’s camp to take negotiations beyond July 1st. He also expects the Marner to visit teams starting June 26 in the RFA offersheet interview period.
“I believe that the Marner camp is still looking at July 1st or beyond July 1st and he’s earned the right to do that,” Dreger explained. “He one hundred percent has earned the right to do that and I’d be shocked if Mitch Marner and Darren Ferris, or Mitch Marner, Darren Ferris and his dad or another member aren’t on an airplane on June 26th, starting the visiting process of the clubs that might be willing to offer sheet.”
The Maple Leafs have over $74.2 million invested in 17 players for 2019-20, which means they have less than $9 million to work with should the salary cap reach the projected $83 million.
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.
If Marner noticed that he would not get close to Matthews, he might feel the need to put some pressure on the Leafs and test the RFA market for an offer sheet battle.
Dreger therefore expects an aggressive offer from GM Kyle Dubas in late June, somewhere north of $10.5 or $11 million per season.
After the Nylander mess, this could be even messier…