Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Mitch Marner wants to remain with the Maple Leafs, but understands he cannot “control” a trade
By Nick Barden9 months ago
There are big question marks regarding Mitch Marner’s future with the Maple Leafs, but during his end-of-season media availability, he stated where his heart lies.
The 26-year-old had an impressive stat line — three goals and 11 assists — throughout the 11 postseason games he appeared in this year. Marner scored a huge goal in Game 2 vs. Florida, but then went dormant for the remainder of the series.
A lack of finding the back of the net was likely a massive part of why the Maple Leafs couldn’t move on. But Marner’s want to remained the same.
“That’s the goal you try to work to every year and (it’s) the reason this thing is the hardest thing to win.” Marner said. “Sometimes it doesn’t go your way, but it’s about taking the positives out of it and trying to work to the next one.”
One of the stories of the series against Florida was Toronto’s inability to find the back of the net. Sergei Bobrovsky limited the Maple Leafs to only two goals in each of the five games — something that’s unheard of with the offense Toronto has.
But why does Marner think the Maple Leafs didn’t come out on the winning end?
“We had opportunities to score goals and we had a lot more odd-man rushes in that series than we did in the first one. Sometimes it doesn’t go your way and the bounces don’t go your way.
“They did a really good job of keeping it tight. I think all those games we played were really, little margins of error and it goes a different way.”
With Toronto’s playoff hopes coming to an end fairly early, how quick does the focus shift from thinking about the past to thinking about the future?
“Probably in a week or so time, that’s when you start really thinking about next season,” Marner said, “and trying to just make sure you’re going to try to be the best you can be for when the season starts.”
One of the final questions Marner was asked was about his future in the Maple Leafs’ organization. There’ll be plenty of question marks around whether GM Kyle Dubas stays, and if he does, who might be traded.
The 26-year-old, in particular, has a no-move clause which kicks in on July 1st of this year.
Like most of the players who addressed the media on Monday, though, Marner reiterated where he wants to remain is in Toronto.
“I can’t control any of that,” Marner told reporters about the possibility of being traded. “We’ll see what happens. But, I think like I’ve said, I’ve been very fortunate to play for this team and I want to continue to play for this team, and hope I get to play for this team.
“It’s all I’ve ever dreamed of as a kid and to be able to do it now, it’s pretty surreal. So, hopefully I get to continue that honour on and be with this squad.”
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