A recent survey of National Hockey League player agents has produced some rather eyebrow raising results and chief among them perhaps is the belief that the Toronto Maple Leafs may soon be forced to trade one of their young stars.
NHL insider Craig Custance submitted a survey to 21 agents in which he asked them a variety of questions on the topics of trades, the offseason, and the most recent NHL playoffs inside of the bubble. It was when he got to the questions about trades however that some of the comments from the agents, all of whom spoke under the condition of anonymity, that things truly got spicy. The agents were asked to speculate on "the highest profile player" that they expect will change teams in the next year, and although players like Patrik Laine and Jack Eichel topped the list, coming in third place was Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner.
Although the Maple Leafs are no doubt feeling the squeeze as a result of the NHL's stagnant salary cap, I have no doubt that a trade involving Marner would come as a shock to the Leafs fans base. That being said one player agent believes that general manager Kyle Dubas has put himself in a difficult situation with his 3 big contracts, and in fact that agent openly stated that one of the deals made by Dubas was a mistake.
"I’d say Mitch Marner," said the agent as per Custance. "They shouldn’t have signed John Tavares. His skating is declining every year. They should have just focused on the two younger kids and used the money elsewhere. I know it’s great to have the two centers … but you can’t have three players making over $10 million."
That of course is just the opinion of an agent knowing that he is speaking with the safety of being off the record, but to be fair that is also the time in which people are going to be the most honest with their real thoughts. What makes this prediction even juicer however is the fact that he was not the only player agent to make it. A second anonymous agent, who went into much less detail, also had Marner going elsewhere in the coming year.
"Taylor Hall? Actually, I’m going go way off and say Mitch Marner."
This would be a true blockbuster trade.