Would the Leafs consider trading Mitch Marner?
Marner was a crafty pick at fourth overall by the Leafs, he has succeeded beyond expectations, he’s a local lad and everybody likes the little guy who doesn’t let his size hold him back.
For the Maple Leafs to make a trade, Cox believes another team has to be willing to give up two quality players under the age of 27 that have two or more years left on their contracts, one a defenceman capable of playing in Toronto’s top four and the other a forward capable of scoring 30 goals, then you have to look hard at making a deal.
Will this be Nicklas Backstrom’s and Braden Holtby’s final season with Washington?
NHL.com: Nicklas Backstrom and Braden Holtby are in the last season of their contracts and can become an unrestricted free agents on July 1, 2020. General manager Brian MacLellan said he plans to have preliminary talks with each about a new contract in early September, but it’s unclear where that will lead.
The Washington Capitals don’t have an internal replacement for Backstrom, who turns 32 on Nov. 23 and remains one of the top two-way centers in the NHL. He had 74 points (22 goals, 52 assists) last season, second on the Capitals behind Alex Ovechkin (89 points; 51 goals, 38 assists).
The situation is more complicated for Holtby, who turns 30 on Sept. 16. With 22-year-old Ilya Samsonov, who the Capitals selected with the No. 22 pick in the 2015 NHL Draft, waiting in the wings as Washington’s potential goalie of the future, difficult decisions lie ahead about how long, and how much, to commit to Holtby.