Alberga’s Take: Extending Mitch Marner would be a terrible decision

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
23 days ago
If the Leafs elect to extend Mitch Marner this summer, they would be making a colossal mistake.
Depending on who you speak to, it appears everything remains on the table when it comes to the star winger’s future in Toronto.
Incredibly, that includes Marner, who now has eight NHL seasons under his belt, potentially signing an extension to stay with his hometown team past next season.
At least that’s according to TSN’s Darren Dreger. While guesting on TSN1050’s ‘First Up’ with Aaron Korolnek and Carlo Colaiacovo on Monday morning, the NHL Insider made headlines when he speculated that Brad Treliving could be more inclined to re-up with Marner than attempt to trade him. Any way you slice it, that would be wild behaviour for an organization who was banging the ‘change’ drum when the season ended following another Game 7 collapse in Boston.
Bottom line: They need to learn from the previous administration’s shortcomings, not fall right back in same trap again. In six opportunities, the Core Four has produced one measly series victory. ONE. Needless to say, it would be the definition of insanity to run it back and hope that things are suddenly going to change for the better —even with Craig Berube at the helm.
For what it’s worth, this argument is more about money and less about Marner’s abilities. He’s an incredible player, but at this point, it would be foolish to adhere to his financial requests. By the sounds of it, the Marner camp would probably use William Nylander’s new contract as a starting point.
No, thanks.
Even with the salary cap going up, keeping Marner, Matthews, and Nylander long-term would be financially crippling. Most importantly, once again, it would impede the organization from addressing other needs on their roster. Plain and simple, the Leafs would be better served to spread the wealth and use the cap space elsewhere. That’s why trading Mitch Marner makes the most sense, but that’s an article for another day.
This team’s been too top heavy for years now, it’s time for them to re-evaluate their strategy for optimal roster construction.
Furthermore, because of his postseason deficiencies, it’s difficult to justify paying Marner his fair market value. He’s going to command a lot of money, and someone – hopefully not the Maple Leafs – will pay him. With Marner and John Tavares’ lucrative contracts both set to expire next summer, the Leafs could finally get the opportunity to overhaul a core that’s proven countless times that they’re incapable of winning together.

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