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Photo Credit: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Dreger & McKenzie: Leafs offered Marner $11M a year for 8 years back in June

Just what you want to start off your day. More Marner contract talk (you secretly love it, don’t you?)

We’re back to Dreger on this one, the man who mysteriously seems to have first hand knowledge of everything that’s going on from the Marner side of the negotiations. Here’s his update…

That’s a lot of money. That’s too much money. For that term, we’ll say that’s at least $1M too much, but for my personal tastes, closer to a $1.5M too much.

I think universally we can all land on that being a lot of money and something the Leafs and Marner should have gotten signed pretty quickly, but that was June. Somehow it’s September, a couple of days away from players reporting to training camp, and by most accounts both sides aren’t even close. This is damned ugly.

Like I said. This is damned ugly. I can appreciate that Marner might want a shorter term, and I can see him pushing for fewer years while trying to keep as much salary as possible, I don’t agree with his self valuation, but I can see that argument. What I really don’t get is how Marner believes in any sense of the word, he’s on the same level as Auston Matthews, and if that is the hold up here, the Leafs seriously need to look at the options for parting ways.

Dubas & Shanahan

While going after Marner in this has been pretty easy to do, I think we need to double back around to the Leafs organization being so incredibly bad at contract negotiations. The Nylander situation turned into a battle over $100k that had significant impact on the season for Nylander. The Auston Matthews contract looks like they let Matthews write down what he wanted and then Dubas rubber stamped it. And after promises that nothing as ugly as the Nylander situation was going to occur again, here we are, even uglier than before, with the Leafs offering ridiculous amounts of money and still no end in sight.

Ultimately the Leafs will need to choose one of the following bad options:

A) Sign a star player at an inflated value, ruining their cap, giving up term, and limiting other roster improvements
B) Trade that player, who now is going to have a bit of a reduced return given salary demands and the established joy of working with his agent, father, and Darren Dreger
C) Keep him out of the league for the year. Hope that normalcy can be attained next season or spend the coming months finding a suitable trade.

Again, my personal thoughts are we should be considering B & C at this point more than one, but it’s a hard case to make to keep a 90 point winger out of your roster.

Yes, this situation is all the wrong kinds of sucking ass, and it’s about to become much more real as training camp begins. The only hope that with all the evidence being leaked to public, perhaps someone is bothering to see how they are faring in the court of public opinion, and they may question how reasonable their decisions have been up to this point, and adjust, but that is about as wishful thinking as it gets. If this week has shown us anything, this can always get uglier.