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With Nylander done, will Leafs be summer lovin’ Marner?

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Photo credit:Marc DesRosiers-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
1 month ago
The ink’s not even dry on the William Nylander extension, and already, the Mitch Marner conversation has started.
 
On July 1, the 26-year-old will be eligible to sign a contract extension with the Leafs, exactly one year to the date of when he would be slated to potentially become an unrestricted free agent.
When Auston Matthews signed on the dotted line, the baton was passed to Nylander. And now, it’s subsequently been moved along to Marner, and to a lesser extent, John Tavares.
Over the coming months – with obviously plenty at stake – the handling of this entire situation will be a curious one to watch unfold. Depending on what happens this spring, a lot of variables could be in play when the two sides inevitably get together to discuss the future this summer.
In the long run, both parties will have plenty of questions to contemplate. Furthermore, indisputably, at some point in time, the Nylander extension will be brought up as a potential template for a deal —likely by the Maple Leafs. As indicated though, it appears the Marner camp has no intention of being even remotely close to that ballpark.
On top of all that, the negotiation process could prove to be worthy of a full cinema screening experience with extra butter on the popcorn, too —not the cheap stuff, either.
At any rate, it’s tough to fully judge the Nylander deal until a long-term resolution comes on the Marner front. Unfortunately, once again, the Leafs will be in a tough spot. That’s because the local product, who’s fully stocked with a no movement clause for the balance of his current contract, will be in full control of his future leading up to July 1, 2025, the day he would be slated to hit unrestricted free agency. Yeah, just another parting gift from the previous administration, right?
Let the games begin.

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