Why a Mitch Marner trade seems most likely to happen in June

Photo credit:John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
13 days ago
For all intents and purposes, the Toronto Maple Leafs could look drastically different over the course of the next 30 days.
At last, the month of June is here, and with that, silly season is about to commence in earnest around the National Hockey League.
Translation: Business is about to pick up in a big way.
Speaking of which, on Wednesday, NHL Insider Frank Seravalli released Daily Faceoff’s first trade targets board of the offseason, and unsurprisingly, Mitch Marner was No. 1 on his list.

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It’s the calm before the proverbial storm.
If the Maple Leafs are going to pull the trigger on a blockbuster trade involving one of their core pieces, a lot of the heavy lifting will undoubtedly have to be done over the few weeks. For obvious reasons, Marner, who will be eligible to sign a contract extension in 29 days, could make the most sense to be shipped out of town. Once again, the 27-year-old will likely dictate the process, largely because of his full no movement clause. Indisputably, a deal of this magnitude would have to be consummated around the draft – which is set for June 28 and 29 in Las Vegas – or July 1, the opening day of free agency. Long story short, anyone looking to acquire Marner will need significant cap space to make a deal work.
Meantime, whether both parties want to admit it or not, some big conversations are just around the corner. Suffice it is to say, that kind of dialogue will involve much more than a cup of java at a local coffee shop in Etobicoke. Speaking of which, for what it’s worth, a source close to TheLeafsNation disclosed that the Craig Berube/Mitch Marner meet-up last week followed standard protocol. In the NHL world, it’s commonplace for this kind of activity to take place whenever a new head coach takes over —regardless of a player’s standing with the organization. Essentially, they discussed where Marner’s game is at, where he envisions it going, and the team moving forward, among other things.
Any way you slice it though, change is in the air in Toronto. With the Stanley Cup Final set for puck drop on June 8th, that would leave 30 of the 32 teams open for business. At the end of the day, only one team skates away hoisting Lord Stanley and happy with how everything unfolds.

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