Rumor: Mitch Marner reportedly hired private muscle to harass media members

Rumor: Mitch Marner reportedly hired private muscle to harass media members

Um... what?!?



When the Toronto Maple Leafs hit the ice for the 2024-25 season will Mitch Marner be a member of the team?

The Leafs' season is once again over in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs and, while there's plenty of blame to go around the organization, Marner has received most of the blame from the team's fanbase. Marner had a lacklustre series against the Boston Bruins and fans have no been happy with the Markham, Ont native's attitude both on and off the ice. 

In case you missed it yesterday, Marner compared himself to a God (I wish I were kidding) and didn't seem to take much responsibility for his team's downfall against Boston. He makes $11 million and he disappears in the post-season, meanwhile the Leafs are sorely lacking depth on the blueline and in goal. A large percentage of the team's fanbase would love to see Marner shipped out of town in exchange for some defensive help.

Even if GM Brad Treliving can't get full value back in a trade for Marner, he'll do well just to rid his team of Marner's attitude. It's clear that both sides are ready for a fresh start and this has all the makings of an 'addition by subtraction' move for the Leafs. With Marner, it's not all about his effort on the ice. It's about his words off the ice and the perceived whining and pouting that fans feel he does too often. 

I usually don't pay too much heed to the cries of a frustrating fanbase, so I've dismissed a lot of Marner slander this season, but a report from Leafs insider James Mirtle today has me wondering if there's more going on with Marner behind the scenes.

Check out this transcript from Mirtle on The Leafs Report earlier today:

“He pays attention to everything. He and his camp pay attention to everything to such a degree. Marner's camp has been mad at me and blackballed me going back five or six years, and I have no idea why.

Then no one ever said to me, like, oh, I didn't like this thing you wrote. I think that our coverage of Marner has been largely positive, going way back to when he was drafted and when he first came in. I mean, his rookie season, he was phenomenal.

And he's had a regular season. He's been a great, great player. And I think that we've written that.

But there's such a sensitivity there. So there's all these feuds going on. And you hear about, he's got private security people that harass media people.

And there's really weird stuff that's going on. It's really strange things that go on with Marner. And sometimes I feel bad for him that he's in this...

Sunday is his birthday, the day after they get eliminated. He's 27 years old. He's not even a young guy anymore.

He's been in the league eight years. And this stuff's still going on.

- James Mirtle

Are you kidding me?!

Marner is hiring private security to intimidate media members!?!? Are you serious!?

We're going to need some more info on this because, like I said, I'm a bit skeptical of all this Marner slander flying around lately. Stay tuned.

Read below for our earlier report on Marner, head coach Sheldon Keefe and the rest of the Leafs from yesterday's season wrapping press availability yesterday.

The Toronto Maple Leafs officially wrapped up their season yesterday at Scotiabank Arena in downtown Toronto. The players cleaned out their lockers, met with team officials and gave one final media availability for broadcasters.

Fans are angry and reporters attempted to get some answers from the players as to why things fell apart for this team in the playoffs again. Why does this keep happening? And what sort of changes will be made to prevent this from happening next season?

The answer may not be one that Leafs fans want to hear.

The Leafs' leadership group comprised of majority owner Keith Pelley, president Brendan Shanahan and general manager Brad Treliving pushed back a press conference from Thursday until Friday where it's anticipated they will make no major announcements. That's right... with fans already riding the likes of Sheldon Keefe, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and even Brendan Shanahan out of town, there are reports out there that the team plans on retaining all of those gentlemen through the 2024-25 season.

A rumor report circulating social media sites like Facebook, Twitter and Reddit contends that the team will 'Run it Back' with the same leadership core, coaching staff and roster for next season. This means Keefe, Marner, Tavares and Shanahan will all be back for one more kick at the can.

Sportsnet NHL insider Elliotte Friedman has already reported that the Leafs' board of directors have indicated that they're happy with Keefe as the team's coach currently. When you combine that with the fact that both Marner's and Tavares' contracts could be difficult to move, I believe that the Leafs could 'run it back' in 2024-25. Wait things out a year, get $21 million in cap space and then move forward with a new plan?

Whatever his future holds though, Keefe was front and center for cameras yesterday and took responsibility for his team's shortcomings.

"So I'm in the coaching business", began Keefe. "In the coaching business you don't get to make decisions about your position, so for me it's out of my control.

"I understand that ownership and management, they make those types of decisions. I accept responsibility for not meeting results.

"I believe in myself greatly, I love coaching the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now more than ever I believe in myself and our team and that I will win and our team will win. I've been through a lot as a coach in my career to get to this level and I've won a lot before coming here.

"The path always looks different but you learn along the way and I've learned a lot through my experience and I know I'm in a good place."

Keefe was asked about his own future with the team and conceded that he may not in fact be long for this team.

"That decision is out of my control," admitted Keefe. "My job is to continue to work to find solutions and to continue to improve as a coach and at the same time take accountability for the fact that we haven't met expectations."

Personally, I think it's time that Keefe is replaced in Toronto. I understand that he still has a contract extension that hasn't even kicked in, but he just can't get this team over the hump. He has consistently been out-coached by every playoff series he's ever been in.

After Keefe's media availability today though, the biggest throng of reporters had to be centered around Leafs forward Mitch Marner. The 27 year old forward has come under incredible fire from the team's fanbase for a perceived lack of effort during the post-season. Marner had a pretty dreadful series against the Boston Bruins... something that has become all too familiar for people who follow this team.

So... what did Marner have to say to those fans? Did he apologize for his lack of effort? Did he take personal accountability for his team's lack of playoff success?

No... not even close.

Marner compared himself and his teammates to "Gods" and extolled the virtues of playing for people who worship the Leafs.

I mean, just listen to this guy:

Are you kidding me!?!

You know how people feel about you Mitch and you give them a line like, "We're looked upon as Gods here..." ARE YOU KIDDING ME!?

Just zero sense of awareness from this guy.

Source: James Mirtle