Let’s get something out of the way right up front. I don’t think that Kypreos is saying this deal has been discussed. I don’t think he’s saying it’s going to happen. And I don’t think that Nick Kypreos is correct in his speculation. Now that all of that has been said, let’s take a look at what Nick Kypreos has put out to the world.
In seeing this, your initial reaction is probably to kill it with fire, right? Good. That’s the appropriate response. Marner is a top line talent who is currently have a bad run of luck. He put up 60 points as a rookie, his slow start still has him on pace for over 40 points as a 20 year old, and it’s probably a safe bet that he’s going to get better. If anything, you don’t trade Marner right now, you do a happy dance that once the team can re-sign him, it might not be for the $8M/yr that some were initially estimating.
If you do trade Marner, you probably don’t do use the Peter Chiarelli template for getting a deal done. You don’t trade Taylor Hall for Adam Larsson, and it’s funny that Kypreos basically is implying that Chiarelli would try to undo his mistake by doing the same thing to the Leafs.
Darnell Nurse is a particularly worrisome name to have mentioned because in some ways it seems plausible the Leafs could do this. He’s not bad, for one thing. Despite being a definite stay at home type, he’s smart with the puck, can skate, can hit, can fight, and would be a welcome 4th defenseman on most teams. The Leafs certainly want a blue line that’s tougher to play against, but my stars would this be an over payment to get that. I know that I could love Darnell Nurse as a Leaf, but I would never want to give up Mitch Marner to get him.
This speculation stems largely from an Oilers fan wanting to know what it would take get Marner, and that’s probably where we need to throw this idea out. They are looking for offensive talent to supplement McDavid now that Chiarelli has shipped off Hall and Eberle for pennies on the dollar. When you look at the Oilers roster and acknowledge that McDavid, Draisaitl, and Klefbom are untouchable, Nurse is the probably the most appealing, attainable name. I’d be inclined to use Ryan Nugent-Hopkins as a starting point, but again, I’m not sure that’s worth it for the Leafs given that Marner is younger and will likely have a greater offensive upside over his career, so again that brings us back to Nurse, especially when you consider what the Leafs most immediate need is.
The reality of the situation is that Marner is not going anywhere. He’s probably going to get an 8 year deal over the summer that some of us will think is too high and some of us will think is fair market value. Over the course of that deal we’ll debate whether he should be traded on what will probably be a weekly basis, but the reality is he’s too good to give up.
So, let’s take the Marner speculation as something interesting that we don’t agree with, and discard it quickly. With Matthews out tonight there is an opportunity for Marner to play a bigger offensive role, and hopefully he’ll take advantage of it, because he really is quite good.