Mitch Marner is finished with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Mitch Marner is finished with the Toronto Maple Leafs.

NHL insider believed we may have seen Mitch Marner's final shift with the Maple Leafs.

Jonathan Larivee

It is certainly starting to sound more and more like Toronto Maple Leafs star forward Mitch Marner may be the odd man out this summer, during a summer when just about everyone expects the Toronto Maple Leafs to break up their vaunted core four.

On Monday, National Hockey League insider Elliotte Friedman shared his thoughts on the future of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, specifically as it pertains to potential departures over the summer. Friedman made it clear that he believes Marner is the obvious choice to go.

"How does he feel?" began Friedman on the 32 Thoughts Podcast. "Has he gotten to a point where he thinks, long term, it's just better for him to be somewhere else? He was tentative, he was nervous, during these playoffs, you could see it."

"Marner never really had a moment and now because of where we are in the calendar of his contract, that becomes white hot under the microscope."

Friedman not only suggested that Marner was an obvious target when it comes to moving on, but went so far as to suggest that Marner himself may be eager for a change of scenery.

"To me the number one question is what does he think? Does any part of him think that it's time?" asked Friedman. "But I do think it's possible that he will think about it. It doesn't mean that he comes right out and tell the Leafs 'Get me out of here' but I do think there will be a Marner collective, as in the people around him, conversation about 'Maybe is it better to go somewhere else?'"

Although Friedman believes Marner and his team are, at the very least, thinking about it, he does not expect that information will go public, for Marner's sake.

"I don't know if he's gonna say that publicly, it's probably not in his best interest to say that publicly," admitted Friedman.

Friedman does believe however that Marner, and more specifically his representatives, will strongly consider a change of scenery over the summer.

"I do think on some level, especially the people who represent him, you're not doing your job if you at least say 'Mitch would this be better for you?'" concluded Friedman.

Some believe that Marner and his team will wield all of the power in this situation, thanks to Marner's full no movement clause, but Friedman does not agree on that front.

"They go could full scorched earth," said Friedman. "They could say 'Not only are we not offering you what you want, but were thinking maybe it's better if we just use the cap room.' And they can say 'If you don't wanna play ball with us that's fine, we can play it out next year, but what that means is you're not gonna get your extension here and you're not gonna get your 8th year.'"

"People are saying there's nothing the Maple Leafs can do and it's not true," added Friedman. "They can force the situation and say 'Look guys, this is what we are going to do, this is how we are going to handle it, and you can decide to work with us now or you can decide to make your decision later."

"I think that's kind of where we are right now."

None of this sounds like it will lead to a future where Mitch Marner remains with the Toronto Maple Leafs.