The Leafs need to push back against the Marner camp

Photo credit:Ron Chenoy-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
15 days ago
First and foremost, it’s important to stress that the Mitch Marner saga will undeniably take many twists and turns over the course of the next few months.
Regardless of what’s being put out there, it’s way too early to have any indication – one way or another – of what’s going to transpire this summer.
Predictably though, aside from a viral picture of Marner and new bench boss Craig Berube having a coffee in Etobicoke together recently, there hasn’t really been many developments since Toronto’s most recent Game 7 loss to Boston.
On the latest edition of the 32 Thoughts podcast, Elliotte Friedman caused quite the stir when he disclosed that there’s no guarantee that Marner, who’s eligible for a contract extension on July 1, will be moved in the coming days. In fact, the NHL Insider suggested this whole thing could wind up dragging into next season: “One of the things a few people have told me is not to be surprised if this plays out over next season with Marner in Toronto.”
While there’s no doubt that this is a delicate situation, it would be utterly insane if the Leafs decided to run it back yet again with the Core Four. Year after year, this nucleus has shown that they’re incapable of winning. Plain and simple. This team needs to make a drastic change, or next spring will end up being the same old story —but with Berube at the helm.
Even though – to a degree – the Marner camp holds the hammer with his no-movement clause, there’s no question that the Leafs can employ some pressure tactics to persuade the 27-year-old to waive. They can start by notifying him that they will not be engaging in contract extension talks —neither now, nor in the future. Translation: You can kiss an eight-year deal goodbye if you stay.
Simply put, if the Leafs roll over and take the loss here, they’ll be puckering up —something the previous administration did all too frequently when it came to dealing with the team’s marquee talents. Brad Treliving and company need to take a stand. It’s in the best interest of the organization to put Marner on the trade block, and that’s a fact. If they’re afraid of what the star winger could be capable of doing with a new team, then the wrong people are calling the shots.
With the NHL Draft and free agency on the horizon, now’s the time for the Leafs to put their foot down and start laying the groundwork for what could be the biggest move of the NHL offseason.
The public posturing has begun.

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