NHL Rumors: What is the Toronto Maple Leafs Plan Going to be?

NHL Network: Elliotte Friedman on NHL Now on Toronto Maple Leafs and what could be coming from the players side of things.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

Devan Dubnyk: “I will switch gears down back to the players. Obviously, lots of talk, lots of different ways that Toronto can go. I mean, they would, they’re so close. I thought, I thought this is one of their better playoff series they’ve had.

What are you hearing on what the plan is? Is it going to be a blow up? Is there going to be one person, two people? They got a ton of UFAs. What are you hearing the game plan is here for the Maple Leafs?

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Friedman: “You know what Devan, I don’t think it’s gonna be a blow up. I don’t think they’re gonna tear it down or anything like that. You know, the thing, like I honestly I’m watching this team closer than I watch anybody else. I thought in their regular season they overcame a lot.

They used 13 defensemen and four goalies. There were a lot of things that could have gone sideways. Like I think Keefe maybe did his best coaching job in this regular season and I bet you some other people saw that.

But you win you lose in the playoffs like they do and they’ve won one playoff round in, in eight years, change happens. Now they, and I’m so, I think there will be some. Look, (Auston) Matthews not going anywhere. (William) Nylander’s not going anywhere. I’d be surprised if (John) Tavares would waive. He’s got one more year left in his contract. And I think a lot of the attention is on Marner.

Now, I think just before we get to him, Devan, I think they will try to extend Jake McCabe and I think they will also look for a defenseman. They’ve been looking for a, a defenseman of varying degrees for years. And so I think they will continue their search for defensemen. They’ll scour the trade market. They’ll scour the free agent market.

I do think they’re going to do something different in goal too. I think it’ll be (Joseph) Woll and not (Ilya) Samsonov. I think it’ll be someone else.

But up front, I know a lot of the attention is on Marner. I think everybody here needs to take a deep breath. He’s got a no-move clause, and then he’s an unrestricted free agent. I, I think that Marner’s preference, as he said, is to stay in Toronto. And I think in a perfect world, he would stay in Toronto and you know, figure things out along the way.

But I think the contract negotiation is going to be a very interesting one. I think he’s going to probably want to go higher than Toronto will want to do it. And then I think it’s gonna come down to how everybody really feels.

You know, it’s, you know, I think it’s been, I mean, I would just say this, I think that the biggest question is going to be in any way shape or form does Mitch Marner think it’s time? Does he think it’s time to try somewhere else, which on one level, I think would be really sad because he’s a Toronto kid. And he really does like being a member of the Maple Leafs. But on the other hand, it’s also been really hard and you can tell in the playoffs, he gets really nervous. And I think the focus and the pressure does get them. And I wonder if some other organization is going to benefit.

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Jamie Hersch: “I mean, yeah, that is the multimillion-dollar question at this point, is that kind of, what the future holds for Mitch Marner? Sounds like that discussion can be tabled a little bit down the line.