Insider Says Maple Leafs Could Leverage Marner Into A Trade

Forcing Mitch Marner into a trade could be a delicate situation for the Toronto Maple Leafs. If the team has ultimately decided that it’s best to move on from the forward, the fact he’s publicly stated he wants to sign a long-term deal isn’t going to help matters. Should the Maple Leafs not feel the same kind of love for the player as he does for the organization after another disappointing playoff run, this has the potential to end badly.

Insider Says Maple Leafs Could Leverage Marner Into a Trade

Still, speculation surrounds Marner’s future. Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman addressed what might be going on between the two sides over the next few weeks and said that Marner might be ready to move on. The Leafs might be ready too. Friedman explained:

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?

But, if Marner takes some time, thinks it through, and is determined to stay with the team grew up adoring and play for a fan base he says treats the players like Gods, the puck will be management’s zone and they’ll have to make a call.

How Can Toronto Force Marner Into a Trade?

Marner has a full no-move clause in his deal. If he doesn’t want to leave, he doesn’t have to. At least, not until his contract expires and the Leafs choose not to extend him — if that’s what happens. Is there a way to speed the process along?

Friedman suggests the organization could bluntly tell Marner that he’s not going to get an extension. That leaves the player two choices. Play through a tenuous season and leave at the end of the year or agree to a trade, helping the team find a home he’s comfortable with. Either way, the Leafs will lose a deal or get nothing back but cap space. At the same time, something is better than nothing and they have some leverage.

Friedman says the team could dangle the loss of the eighth year in any future contract. The only way Marner gets eight years is by signing with a team he’s already on. That means being traded there first. Friedman said, “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.”

It’s not clear how the organization feels about Marner. It’s possible the team isn’t thinking about a trade and would like to re-sign the player. Most of these questions will be answered on Friday when management speaks with the media. It should be an interesting day.

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