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Treliving will only trade Marner for clear upgrade: ‘Mitch controls a lot of this whole thing’

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Photo credit:Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports
Mike Gould
16 days ago
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Discussion about Mitch Marner’s future in Toronto has dominated the media landscape ever since the Maple Leafs fell to the Boston Bruins in the first round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs.
Marner is entering the final year of his contract and is coming off a playoff series against Boston in which he managed just one goal and three points in seven games.
After signing both Auston Matthews and William Nylander to contract extensions last season, Leafs general manager Brad Treliving will have his work cut out for him to retain Marner — and it’s unclear at this point whether he’d rather do that or look for a trade.
One thing is for certain: Marner has a lot of leverage over the current situation with his full no-movement clause, which Treliving touched upon a little in a recent conversation with The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun.
“The thing I would say is, be very, very careful of what you read out there,” Treliving told LeBrun. “Mitch is a hell of a player. He’s going into the last year of his contract. We’re not going to comment on any players. Any business that we conduct, we’ll do that between (Marner’s agent) Darren Ferris and us. We’re not going to do play-by-play on it. We’ve got to look at every possible way for our team to be better.
“Mitch controls a lot of this whole thing [with his no-movement clause]. If there’s a way to make our team better, we’re going to do it. But we’re certainly not going to make a trade just so we can pound our chest and say, ‘Look, we’re different.’”
Toronto originally selected Marner with the No. 4 overall pick in the 2015 NHL Draft. The talented winger has collected 194 goals and 639 points in 576 games over eight seasons in Toronto.
Marner earns an average of $10.903 million per year on his current contract, making him one of the highest-paid players in the entire National Hockey League. With Matthews and Nylander both commanding significant raises on their previous deals, it tracks that Marner will want one, too.
Before joining the Leafs in 2023, Treliving spent nine years as the general manager of the Calgary Flames, who experienced limited playoff success during his tenure. His time in Calgary was defined by the 2022 offseason, when winger Johnny Gaudreau left the team for nothing in unrestricted free agency; shortly thereafter, Matthew Tkachuk forced his way to the Florida Panthers as an RFA.
The Leafs finished the 2023-24 season with a 46-26-10 record and 102 points, enough to finish third in the Atlantic Division. They fired head coach Sheldon Keefe after their early playoff exit, replacing him with former St. Louis Blues bench boss Craig Berube.

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