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Mitch Marner slots in at No. 1 on Daily Faceoff’s trade targets list

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Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Michael Mazzei
23 days ago
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Daily Faceoff’s Frank Seravalli released his first Trade Targets board of the 2024 offseason and Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner sits atop the list.
There are no surprises here given the rumblings about his future in Toronto being uncertain. Although Marner stated during the locker room exit interview that he wants to remain a Leaf, keeping him beyond next season will not be so simple.
This has to do with the big contracts given to Auston Matthews and William Nylander over the past few months and the optics of running it back after eight seasons of evidence that the mix is not working when it matters. A new coach manning the bench could be seen as a change that could be just what the doctor ordered, but is it really in everyone’s best interest to try this again with the ire surrounding Marner at an all-time high?
Over a week ago, Seravalli said he believes the likelihood of Marner returning next season is at five percent or less. No formal talks with teams have taken place, nor has Marner or his camp submitted a list of teams he’d be willing to be traded, but there have been rumblings that Marner wouldn’t be against a move. It seems to suggest that his days as a Leaf could be numbered.
Don’t expect the move to come anytime soon if this is where things are heading. Marner is not eligible to sign an extension until July 1st since it will mark a year out from his current deal expiring. He will also be owed a $7.25 million signing bonus that day, resulting in his base salary being $775k for the 2024-25 season. Any inquiring team would want the assurance that Marner could sign an extension as part of the deal, and this combined with the other factors mentioned earlier will result in any potential trade coming sometime after free agent frenzy begins.
In any case, speculation about Marner’s future will only increase in volume as we move closer to Canada Day and the playoffs wrap up. There is no telling where this will all end up, but him slotting atop Seravalli’s trade target board certainly adds to the intrigue about this ongoing saga.

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