Report: How Kawhi Leonard scared Leafs management in Marner negotiations

Marner insider Darren Dreger pulls back the curtain on the Leafs’ inner workings.

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We’re now just 10 days away from the opening of Toronto Maple Leafs’ training camp and its been weeks since we’ve heard anything about contract negotiations with star RFA Mitch Marner. 

Marner is reportedly seeking as much as $13 million per season on a long term deal, while the team would prefer to keep his salary under the $10 million mark. This discrepancy between the player and the team has led fans and media to speculate and even hypothesize trade scenarios for Marner. After all, if the Leafs won’t give him $13 million, why not trade him to a team who will pay him and get a bounty in return?

Well… not so fast reports NHL insider Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic. LeBrun reported this morning that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has NO intention of trading Marner and isn’t even interested in listening to offers.

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Up until this point, Dubas has been pretty guarded when discussing Marner’s contract negotiations, so this has to be seen as a step in the right direction. If nothing else, it puts the onus on Marner’s camp to work with the team on a fair deal.

Interestingly enough, LeBrun’s TSN colleague Darren Dreger also had a report concerning Marner today. Dreger reports that the Leafs’ parent company Maple Leaf Sports and Entertainment, who also own the NBA’s Toronto Raptors, have put pressure on the team to get Marner signed, specifically because of how they missed out on re-signing Raptors superstar Kawhi Leonard.

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Interesting. Brendan Shanahan may be more involved but… so far his involvement hasn’t led to any progress. The Leafs and Marner are still reportedly far apart on salary and term… so what gives, Shanny?