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Mitch Marner wants to remain with the Maple Leafs

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Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Arun Srinivasan
1 month ago
Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner reiterated his desire to remain with the franchise during the team’s end-of-year media availability on Monday.
Marner is eligible to sign an extension with the Maple Leafs on July 1. He is entering the final year of his contract and if he doesn’t sign an extension with the team, he’s eligible to become an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2024-25 season.
“That would be a goal. I’ve expressed my love for this place, this city. Obviously, I’ve grown up here. We’ll start thinking about that now and try to figure something out,” Marner said of a possible extension Monday.
Toronto’s star winger struggled offensively during the first-round series against the Boston Bruins and was asked about how the team’s eighth consecutive playoff exit felt. Marner registered one goal and three points in seven games.
“It’s the same shitty pain, to be honest,” Marner told reporters Monday. “Challenges build adversity, and we’ve been through a lot of that and it’s only gonna make us better.”
Marner teased the idea of a potential trade when reflecting upon his appreciation for the Maple Leafs’ fan base, drawing a parallel to the Toronto Raptors, who transitioned from a championship team five years ago into a full-scale rebuild this season.
“It means the world. Obviously, we’re looked upon as gods here to be honest. Something that you really appreciate and the love you get here from this fan base and the tension is unlike any other. You saw it with the (Raptors) a couple of years ago, the love they still have for a lot of players they had to trade off this year, that’s the love that you want.”
It’s been a tough time for Marner as he’s the most logical candidate of the team’s Core Four (Auston Matthews, William Nylander, John Tavares) to be moved, despite all four players operating with no-movement clauses. Marner was a prodigy in the Greater Toronto Hockey League before moving to the OHL’s London Knights and it’s clear he wants to remain with the Maple Leafs to run it back — whether the organization believes in Marner anymore remains to be seen.
Marner blew a defensive assignment on David Pastrnak during Game 7’s overtime period, which led to the winning goal. Pastrnak skating by a passive Marner may be the final image of the star winger in a Maple Leafs uniform in spite of eight seasons where he’s averaged 1.1 points per game during the regular season. We’ll have to see what the summer portends.

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