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Photo Credit: © Bob DeChiara-USA TODAY Sports

Leafs sign Marner to 6-year, $65.36-million contract

The wait is over. Both sides have agreed to a contract and everyone can now enjoy the game itself. The Toronto Maple Leafs have signed winger Mitch Marner to a six-year contract that will carry a cap hit of $10.893-million.

Marner will remain on the team he grew up cheering for, for the next six years and most likely beyond. He will be an Unrestricted Free Agent after this contract expires, but the six years buys a total of two of those precious UFA years.

Coming off a year where he led the team in scoring with 94 points, he will be able to try again for the title this upcoming season with a full 82 games.

The winger now has the seventh-highest cap hit among all active NHL players, but the third on the Leafs — with Tavares ($11-million AAV) and Matthews ($11.634-million AAV) coming above Marner.

With this signing, the Leafs will have to maneuver around the cap ceiling in preparation for the season to start on Oct. 2. Because of the trade this summer to acquire the contract of David Clarkson and Nathan Horton already existing on the roster, Toronto will have a total of $10.55-million on Long-Term Injured Reserve for the entirety of the season.

To get more of a sense of how that whole thing works — and how the Leafs are able to essentially fit Marner under the cap — read this piece by Earl Schwartz from when the team acquired Clarkson earlier this summer.

Because of this awkward cap situation, the Leafs will most likely carry only 21 players for most of the season, rather than keeping the maximum amount of players on the 23-man roster.

The Marner contract is signed; the last contract negotiation of the Big Three and keeps this current core together for multiple playoff runs. No matter what opinion you have of the official number, the Leafs are a better team with him and he’s here for the long-term.

Hopefully not too many no. 16 jerseys were burned last week.