Leafs expected to play hardball with Mitch Marner over NMC

Ryan Smitheram
May 6, 2024  (11:08)

Marner is the most likely candidate to be traded this off-season
Photo credit: Toronto Maple Leafs

Mitch Marner could be on his way out of Toronto, according to sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman, as he expects a major shakeup among the "Core 4".

From the moment the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs, Marner has been trending across social media. Mostly because of his effort on David Pastrnak's overtime winner, but also because many Leaf fans are hoping he is dealt this off-season.

Friedman made waves on Monday when he suggested that the Leafs could move Mitch Marner, despite the skilled winger owning a no-movement clause.

On this morning's '32 Thoughts' podcast, Friedman began the show by commenting on all things Leafs. He revealed that MLSE is essentially "hellbent" on changing the roster construction of the Leafs.
«The idea of having 40M tied up in 4 forwards - those days are over. The Maple Leafs are going to say that kind of roster construction is done. It doesn't work. They might have to bear with it for one more year, but overall, that philosophy is done."

Friedman then went on to discuss Marner's overall situation and how things could play out, basing it on two factors.
"Yes, he has control over the situation with his no-movement clause, but there are a couple of questions here.

One, how does he feel? Does he think it's better long term for him somewhere elsedoes any part of him think it's time? I do think it's possible he will think about it. There will be a Marner collective (the people around him) conversation about if it's better for him to go somewhere else.

Number two is the organization. Do they think it's time? While Marner has the no-movement clause, the Leafs have the power to say we're not offering what you want. If you don't want to play ball with us that's fine. We can play it out next year but you're not getting your extension here and you're not getting the eighth year.

They can force the situation and they can say you can work with us now or make your decision later.

With Nylander they were not willing to lose the trade. They set a bar, if we trade him we're getting this. They have to consider the possibility if they make the deal (Marner) and they look like they lose it, they say, okay we're gonna do this, not for this trade but the flexibility to do other things."

The flexibility the Leafs would gain trading Marner would allow them to finally go after a true top defenseman and possibly even keep both of Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi as well as a couple of other pending UFAs that performed well this season.
It's going to be a very busy off-season for the Leafs that is set to begin today when players and Sheldon Keefe speak to the media. Their answers will give Leaf fans lots to ponder until Brad Treliving speaks on Thursday.
MAY 6   |   1107 ANSWERS
Leafs expected to play hardball with Mitch Marner over NMC

Is it finally time to move on from Mitch Marner?

Yes77069.6 %
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I mean, it's long overdue686.1 %
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