Two former Leafs GMs are candidates to land Mitch Marner

Dean Chaudhry
May 24, 2024  (5:05 PM)

Mitch Marner celebrating a goal being scored.
Photo credit: Marc DesRosiers - USA Today Sports

The Mitch Marner rumour mill continues to churn as The Hockey News labelled 5 teams that could land the winger, including 2 teams with former Leafs GMs at the helm.

With the Stanley Cup Playoffs knee deep in the Conference Finals, the off-season is right around the corner and for those teams that failed to either make the playoffs or keep their push for the Cup alive, it's go-time to make shrewd moves.
The Toronto Maple Leafs seem to occupy a massive chunk of the rumour mill every summer and this year is no different as many insiders believe the core will finally be broken. With Auston Matthews and William Nylander having signed long-term deals and John Tavares holding an immovable contract while also being the captain, the onus has fallen on Marner.
The talented winger will surely have a lot of suitors should Toronto finally signal the white flag and announce his availability. The Hockey News tabbed the Pittsburgh Penguins, Chicago Blackhawks, Anaheim Ducks, New York Islanders, and the recently relocated Utah club as potential fits for Marner.
It's interesting to note that 2 of the 5 aforementioned teams - the Penguins and the Islanders - have former Leafs general managers at the helm, both of whom dealt with Marner in some way, shape, or form. Kyle Dubas will have another chaotic and frantic off-season as he looks to re-tool the aging Penguins on the fly, while Lou Lamoriello and the Islanders usually do their work in secret and in hushed circles.
The Penguins have just under 13 million dollars in open cap and have a slew of players to re-sign or extend. Trying to trade for Marner will also be tough because they don't necessarily have the pieces that would entice Toronto, especially compared to some of the rebuilding clubs like Anaheim, Chicago, or Utah. In saying that, swinging for Marner will probably be a top priority for Dubas as he looks to keep Sidney Crosby's window open for as long as possible.
As for Lamoriello and the Islanders, they could surely use an offensive force in their top-6, however they are a little more cash-strapped than the Penguins with just 6.287 million to play with and a lengthy list of RFAs and UFAs to possibly extend. There might be less attractive pieces on New York compared to Pittsburgh for Toronto's liking but someone they would love to get their hands on would be defenseman Noah Dobson - who the Islanders will likely make untouchable.
There are several teams right now that would absolutely move mountains to get their hands on a a player like Marner. The three aforementioned rebuilding clubs all have a reason or another to entice Marner to not only waive his no-movement clause but also look to sign an extension beyond 2025.
Anaheim has a loaded roster of young talent and the California weather to make their case, Chicago has Connor Bedard and another top-2 pick coming in this summer, and Utah will be looking to make a splash and cast away from the Arizona shadow. They are also markets with far less pressure right now compared to Toronto, which at times can be absolutely ruthless - something Marner would know a lot about.
24 MAI   |   368 ANSWERS
Two former Leafs GMs are candidates to land Mitch Marner

Of the teams that the Hockey News mentioned, which team would excite you the most for a potential Marner deal?

Pittsburgh Penguins7420.1 %
New York Islanders7019 %
Any of the three rebuilding teams22460.9 %
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