Insider Elliotte Friedman
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Mitch Marner's days in Toronto are over according to Elliotte Friedman

Published May 6, 2024 at 4:38 PM

Elliotte Friedman, an insider in hockey circles, suggests that Mitch Marner might be headed for an exit from Toronto. After a tough stretch for Marner with the Leafs, Friedman hinted that Marner's days in Toronto could be numbered, especially since he's nearing the end of his contract.

Friedman pointed out that Marner seemed hesitant and nervous during the recent playoffs, raising questions about his long-term future with the team. With just one year left on his contract, the situation is becoming more intense.

Friedman speculated on whether Marner might be considering a move elsewhere for his career. While Marner may not publicly demand a trade, discussions among his representatives about his future options could be happening behind the scenes.

He also mentioned the possibility of the Leafs taking a tough stance in contract negotiations, potentially even considering using their cap space elsewhere if Marner doesn't cooperate.

Here's the full quote from insider Elliotte Friedman.

"Has he gotten to a point where he thinks, long term, it's just better for him to be somewhere else? He was tentative, he was nervous, during these playoffs, you could see it."

"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."

"To me the number one question is what does he think? Does any part of him think that it's time?" asked Friedman. "But I do think it's possible that he will think about it. It doesn't mean that he comes right out and tell the Leafs 'Get me out of here' but I do think there will be a Marner collective, as in the people around him, conversation about 'Maybe is it better to go somewhere else?'"

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

"They go could full scorched earth," said Friedman. "They could say 'Not only are we not offering you what you want, but were thinking maybe it's better if we just use the cap room.' And they can say 'If you don't wanna play ball with us that's fine, we can play it out next year, but what that means is you're not gonna get your extension here and you're not gonna get your 8th year.'"

"People are saying there's nothing the Maple Leafs can do and it's not true," added Friedman. "They can force the situation and say 'Look guys, this is what we are going to do, this is how we are going to handle it, and you can decide to work with us now or you can decide to make your decision later."

"I think that's kind of where we are right now."

Marner's performance in the playoffs, notably his crucial error in Game 7 leading to a goal against his team, coupled with his refusal to face the media afterward, has added fuel to speculation about his suitability for Toronto's demanding market.

"Marner and Rielly not addressing the media after game 7 is a joke btw. 2 guys with letters make mistakes on the final goal and they can't even go out there and own it. Would not care if they were not back next year."

Given these circumstances, the question of whether Marner will be traded by the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer remains up in the air.

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Elliotte Friedman believes Mitch Marner is on his way out of Toronto
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Mitch Marner's days in Toronto are over according to Elliotte Friedman

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