NHL Rumors: Friedman’s Thoughts on the Future of Toronto Maple Leafs Mitch Marner

Sportsnet: Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts: The Podcast – And Then There Were Two (Canadian Teams) episode on the future of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

“Now Marner, I think the thing there is going to be this, yes, he has control over the situation with his no-move clause. But I think there’s a couple of questions here.

Number one. How does he feel? Does, as he gotten to a point where he thinks long-term its just better for him to be somewhere else?

He was tentative, he was nervous during these playoffs. You could see it. (Auston) Matthews had his moments. (William) Nylander had his moments after he came back. (John) Tavaras had a big moment in the game five overtime winner in Boston. Marner never really had a moment.

And now because of where we are in the calendar of his contract, that becomes white hot under the microscope. And to me the number one question is, what does he think? Does any part of him think that it’s time?

Now you have to always be careful with this because we’re 24 to 48 hours after the emotion of a tough defeat, but I do think it’s possible that he will think about it. It doesn’t mean that he comes right out and tells the Leafs, ‘get me out of here.’ But I do think at least there will be a Marner collective, as in the people around him conversation about maybe is it better to go somewhere else?

Now, I don’t know if he’s gonna say that publicly. It’s probably not in his best interest to say that publicly. But I do think on some level, like especially the people who represent him, you’re not doing your job, if you don’t at least say, ‘Mitch, would this be better for you?’

Now number two part of that equation is the organization. Do they think it’s time? Because yes, while Marner has the power of the no-move clause, the Maple Leafs power is to say, look, we’re not, if we’re not offering you what you want. We’re not even sure that, and they could go full bore scorched earth. They could say, ‘not only are we not offering you what we, want what you want, but we’re thinking that maybe it’s better if we just use the cap room.’

And then they can say if you don’t want to play ball with us, that’s fine. We can play it out next year. But what it means is, you’re not going to get your extension here and you’re not going to get the eighth year. That’s what Toronto can do. If that’s what they want to do. Cause people are saying there’s nothing that Maple Leafs can do. That’s not true. They don’t have the hammer, but they have something and it’s that.

So they can kind of force the situation and say, ‘Look, guys, this is what we’re going to do. This is how we’re going to handle it. And you can decide to work with us now or you can decide to make your decision later.’

They can do that. The kind of same thing happened with Nylander, but Nylander played so well he convinced them to keep him.

So I think that’s kind of where we are right now.”