Leafs reportedly won't ask Marner to waive until they receive the right offer

Dean Chaudhry
June 9, 2024  (7:49 PM)

Mitch Marner discussing a play with Auston Matthews before a face-off.
Photo credit: Nick Turchiaro - USA Today Sports

The Toronto Maple Leafs are going to do their due diligence on the trade front and have something concrete on the table before they ask Mitch Marner to waive his NMC.

The moment the Maple Leafs were ousted from the first round of the playoffs by the Boston Bruins, the rumour mill started to churn vigorously and Marner became public enemy number one. Granted, he had a disastrous post-season performance and with his two running mates having already signed expensive extensions, he became the odd man out.
It became a talking point on every show and from every insider that the Leafs cannot go into the 2024-25 season with the same core in place. Therefore trading Marner had to become a top priority even though he holds a full no-movement clause. The initial belief was that because the sentiment between player and team - and city - had soured, that perhaps he would be willing to looking for greener pastures.
Fast forward a couple weeks later and it sounds like he will be sticking in Toronto and playing out the final year of his contract, essentially deciding his fate before walking into unrestricted free agency. All in all, it's a difficult situation to be in for both Marner and the Maple Leafs but it does sound like Brad Treliving and company have a plan in place.
PostMedia's Steve Simmons wrote a piece earlier today that indicated that Treliving will only ask Marner to waive his no-movement clause should they have an offer on the table that they're actually interested in. Otherwise, they don't want to bother, bully, or intimidate Marner just for the sake of making a change.
"If one of the offers meets their needs, then — and only then — will they involve Marner in the process and try to convince him why it's in his best interest to look elsewhere," Simmons wrote.
As David Alter points out in his article for The Hockey News, that sentiment rings true with everything that has been said by the Leafs general manager up to this point.
«Mitch controls a lot of this whole thing. If there's a way to make our team better, we're going to do it. But we're certainly not going to make a trade just so we can pound our chest and say, 'Look, we're different.'" - Treliving on Marner

The biggest concern is undoubtedly the fact that Marner can walk into free agency next year and the Maple Leafs get nothing in return. That similar situation happened to the New York Islanders when John Tavares played out his contract with the club and then signed with the Leafs in the ensuing summer.
If that were to happen and as bad as it may seem at first, the summer of 2025 will be an interesting one because that would allow Treliving to work with an open canvas. The Maple Leafs will have Marner and Tavares' money off the books in the same summer freeing up an additional $21.9M in cap space just from those two players alone.
It's not an ideal scenario, but both sides could still come to an agreement - as long as the relationship between Marner and the Leafs remains amicable throughout the 2024-25 season.

"If no deal for Marner can be completed — or he doesn't allow one — it makes next season a greater challenge than expected. The Leafs need help in goal and on defence and, with next-to-no money to spend, what's Treliving to do?

One year from now, Marner's contract and that of captain John Tavares will expire, opening up $22 million in payroll, with an increasing salary cap and only $40 million committed. That's when Leafs management — and not players — will be in control of the payroll and, by extension, the team."

While the Maple Leafs are certainly active and aggressive on the trade front, they have made it clear that they won't budge for the sake of making a move. Treliving has been candid from the beginning, Marner and his camp are well aware of the rumours and what's taking place before their eyes, and the hockey world should be licking their chops at the prospect of acquiring an elite scoring winger with penalty killing prowess.
However, if the Maple Leafs don't like what they see, then they won't approach Marner until something tickles their fancy. It's as simple as that.
Source: Toronto Sun
SIMMONS SAYS: Leafs won't ask Marner to waive no-trade until they see an offer they like
Source: The Hockey News
Favorable Offer Before Asking Mitch Marner to Waive His No-Move Clause for a Trade
9 JUIN   |   365 ANSWERS
Leafs reportedly won't ask Marner to waive until they receive the right offer

What's your best case scenario involving Mitch Marner?

Staying put and signing an extension15141.4 %
Trading him for NHL-ready assets18851.5 %
Letting him walk after the 2024-25 season267.1 %
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