NHL Insider offers frank prediction on Mitch Marner's future

The Leafs forward has been heavily involved in trade rumors.

Michael W.

Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving has his work cut out for him when it comes to the futures of one half of his team's "Core 4" consisting of Auston Matthews, William Nylander, Mitch Marner and John Tavares. 

The future of Marner, who enjoyed another successful regular season campaign but was mostly invisible when it mattered most in the postseason, remains up in the air. A particularly low moment for Marner took place in Game 4 of Round 1 against the Bruins when he was seen throwing his gloves down on the bench in frustration while teammate William Nylander snapped at him. 

He has one year left on his current deal with a hefty AAV of $11 million, and his name has been included in trade rumors in the wake of Toronto's latest playoff disappointment. Naturally, his salary could scare off potential suitors unless Toronto were to retain a portion of the money that he's due.

There's also the possibility that he walks in the summer of 2025 in free agency, leaving Toronto unable to recoup any assets in return for him. While making a guest appearance on the "Steve Dangle Podcast", NHL Insider Chris Johnston opined that Marner is far more likely to depart Toronto through free agency rather than a blockbuster trade - and also leaves the door open for a potential new deal with the Leafs. 

"It's probably more likely he walks than he signs an extension," he said. "Not significantly so, but if we were setting the betting lines now, the favourite would be [he] walks as a free agent, then I would say re-sign is the next favourite. I'm just not sure they are going to give him the option to stay either."

Just how strange would it be to see Marner playing with a different sweater? 

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