Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas has had his work cut out for him the past two offseasons.
Last offseason and into the 2018-19 regular season, Dubas was embroiled in ugly contract negotiations with forward William Nylander that FINALLY came to a head just minutes ahead of the NHL’s December 1st deadline. Now Dubas is staring down the barrel of another contentious standoff with pending restricted free agent Mitch Marner. The 22 year old Thornhill, Ontario native is reportedly seeking a long-term deal in excess of $11 million per season, according to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman.
A hypothetical eight year deal worth $11 million per season was reportedly turned down by Marner, again according to Friedman.
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For perspective, that would match John Tavares’ contract and is nearly double Nylander’s contract. To be clear, only five players in the NHL make $11 million or more: Drew Doughty, Tavares, Erik Karlsson, Auston Matthews and Connor McDavid. While Marner is indeed a fantastic player… he simply doesn’t belong in the group mentioned above.
Now Dubas has offered up a bit of a warning to Marner should he decide to put pressure on the Leafs by way of signing an offer sheet. The warning: Be careful what you wish for because you just might get it.
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Should Marner sign a contract with another team, he may get just what he asked for… a contract with another team. The stakes are certainly high if this is the case… who blinks first?
Something’s got to give. Stay tuned, Leafs fans.