Now that the Toronto Maple Leafs contract negotiations have been leaked to the media and TSN’s Bob McKenzie has reported that the Leafs have offered Mitch Marner seven and eight year offers in the $11M AAV universe but because it’s a lower AAV and longer term than Auston Matthews, it hasn’t been palatable to Marner.
McKenzie states the logical solution would be a three-year bridge but because Marner wants an AAV in the $9M to $10M universe and the third year (base for QO) would be substantially higher, the Leafs has no incentive to do the bridge at those numbers. Hard to see the way to a settlement.
If McKenzie see’s no settlement in the near future and with training camp starting now, maybe it is time for the Toronto Maple Leafs to check out the trade market and see what they can get in return for Marner?
If a trade was to happen, the Leafs would likely seek a top young defenceman in return. Columbus Blue Jackets defenceman Seth Jones would be an option. An old school one-for-one trade. The question is, would the Blue Jackets give up Jones for Marner? Yes, Jones is that good along with having a great cap hit of $5.4M for the next 3 years!
If the Leafs were to target a forward, they could contact the Vancouver Canucks about the availability of Elias Pettersson. Again this would likely be another straight up trade and no picks involved.
If no deal can be worked out before the start of the NHL season, the Maple Leafs will have to think long and hard about trading their super star. It has hard to believe that Marner would turn down a 7-year deal at $11 per year, but times are changing and the young players want to be paid big while still in RFA status.