Earlier this week Kyle Dubas stated that trading Marner isn’t something the team is exploring. That’s probably a good thing since no matter what he costs, Marner is pretty hard to replace, and it seems unlikely that a team is willing to drop its best assets and then pay out another $9M+ of salary to boot. The deals for Marner probably aren’t too far off of what the Leafs gave up for Jake Muzzin. A good prospect, a first, and a solid young player ready to play now. You can probably throw a 4th piece in there for Mitch, but they would probably have some salary attached to them.
Anyways, for the most part those of us who have been in the Trade Mitch Camp have been lying to ourselves, and the deals out there aren’t worth taking. That’s why I’m going to explore 5 trade ideas that seem absolutely bullet proof. These trade ideas are 100% grounded in reality and 100% consider what is right for the other team as well. You should take these proposals very seriously. I did. That’s why I emailed them to Kyle Dubas.
1. More Local Boys
One of the biggest issues with trading Marner seems to be that a good suit wearing Ontario boy who plays hockey the right way, and was brought up through the GTHL will be shown the door. This is a travesty. It is very important that hockey players be born in the same area code as me. It makes me feel like I’m doing something with my life by proxy, or maybe there was a chance that Mitch Marner bought my old shin pads at a yard sale and that started him on his great journey to hockey glory. Either way, it’s important, so let’s trade Marner for local boys.
Clearly the answer is trading for Bowmanville native, Josh Bailey. We know the Islanders are interested in Marner, it’s been speculated so much it has to be true. Bailey clearly knows how to play with Tavares, and it just seems perfect, aside from the fact that Marner is still better and younger, and the Isles would still have to add. That’s when you realize, the Islanders have more Ontario players, and including Josh Ho-Sang, and Michael Dal Colle makes this trade a no brainer. Three good local boys coming home in exchange for one. Most of your uncles make that trade all day every day.
2. Big D
We’ve all heard on talk radio how the biggest deficit in the Leafs roster is the lack of intimidating defensemen. Those hosts and callers have thousands of years of combined hockey watching experience and they unquestionably know what they are talking about. That’s why the Leafs need to hop on the Rasmus Ristolainen train. After feverishly googling it all morning I have learned that you in fact cannot teach size, and Ristolainen is 6’4, 215 lbs all day every day. Marner needs a stool to reach items on the top shelf.
Now the last thing we want is for this deal to have a Hall for Larsson look to it, so we better jazz it up. Ristolainen may be the answer to all the Leafs prayers, but we’re kidding ourselves if we think that Marner doesn’t have more value. That’s why the Leafs should also ask for 6’3 defensive prospect Will Borgen, who if you look up, you will see is an actual hockey player who is tall and shoots right. How are these deals not happening already?
3. Lottery Tickets!!!
Admittedly I have always been hoping for an offersheet that would see the Leafs net 4 1st round picks in the transaction. In my head that’s 4 good picks and a ton of money to spend now. In reality it’s probably closer to this:
That being said, imagine if one of those picks turns out to be as good as Mitch Marner. Hoooooo Doggy. We’d be fools not go down this path. Given that no team has ponied up an offersheet that sees the Leafs net 4 1sts, we’ll have to assume that a team would offer up 3 1sts for Mitch. Is that enough to end this ordeal? That’s enough money left over to bring back Jake Gardiner and sign PTO-ers Neuvirth and Read. Seems like a good idea, right? I’m sure if I look at picks 20-31 in the past three drafts I’ll only be more encouraged to do this deal.
4. That Other RFA who certainly has a more reasonable agent
It’s a known fact that all of the other RFAs have valid reasons that they haven’t signed yet, and it is only Mitch Marner who is truly greedy. It’s also probably likely that many of those RFAs have life long dreams of playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs instead of their current club, and would sign instantly if given the opportunity to play in Toronto. With that in mind it only makes sense that the Leafs trade for Kyle Connor. Growing up in Michigan, Kyle was in close proximity to the Leafs and was probably in awe of it’s tradition and in no way swayed by the fact that the Leafs were ass during his most formative years. There’s also the added bonus of the Leafs truly sending the message of playing hardball by sending RFAs who don’t sign to Winnipeg. No more Marner situations after that.
Like with most of these deals, I’m sure the Jets still need to do some adding, so we’ll just assume that Logan Stanley is the ideal throw-in because he meets the prerequisites of trade proposals 1 and 2, with a hint of #3 as well. In fact, that probably brings us to the best trade idea of them all and that’s…
5. The All of the Above
Somehow we need to merge the ideas of getting a big defenseman, an Ontario kid, futures, and another RFA into one deal. The answer is the following…
Toronto trades Mitch Marner to Philadelphia for Travis Konecny, Phillipe Myers, and a 1st.
We’ve checked all the boxes. We’ve got the Ontario kid, who happens to be a RFA. We’ve got the big right handed shot defenseman, who is also young, and we’ve got the ultimate future, a Flyers 1st round pick, which is probably a bit better than a couple of 1sts from a team that doesn’t suck. Clearly this deal is universally loved and I might as well close the comment section because I can sense everyone is nodding in agreement.
The only other possibility here is that it might make sense to keep Marner and no matter how long it takes to play out, having Marner might be the best option. The biggest downside to that is it’s inconvenience to our impatience, and re-signings are never as fun as trades. I guess we’d have to make due.
*if you don’t hate all of these you are a weirdo