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Blockbuster Marner Trade Idea Proposed Between Maple Leafs and Flames

Mitch Marner has been the subject of many trade rumors. One writer suggests an interesting trade involving the Calgary Flames.

It seems like it’s a yearly tradition that Toronto Maple Leafs trade rumors would be circulating during every offseason. Following multiple disappointing playoff runs including another Game 7 loss against the Boston Bruins, the consensus is that it’s time for a major shakeup in Toronto, more specifically involving their big-name players. Brendan Shanahan and Brad Treliving spoke about how the Leafs will approach the offseason, stressing that the time for patience is over.

You can argue that changes were needed years ago, such as their collapse against the Montreal Canadiens in 2021 where they choked a 3-1 series lead. The core four consisting of Auston Matthews, John Tavares, Mitch Marner, and William Nylander have all contributed to mediocre playoff runs ever since their time began in Toronto. This year’s elimination feels different, however.

It’s been hinted that this would likely be the end of the core four’s time together if they didn’t have a deep playoff run. Marner is the odd man out as both Matthews and Nylander have signed new extensions with the club. Tavares is the team’s captain and likely isn’t going to fetch a big return because of his age and cap hit.

Mock Trade Proposals Have Begun

Trade rumors surrounding Marner have been plentiful. His contract is up at the end of next season and he will likely ask for a raise from his $10.9 million cap hit. Will Toronto be willing to give him that raise and ignore all the years of disappointing results just to keep him around? According to many, it’s not a smart move. Trading him would be the smarter option as Leafs’ mock trades have been the recent source of conversation for many hockey fans.

One Marner mock trade that stands out is a proposal from Sportsnet’s Ryan Dixon involving the Leafs making a major deal with the Calgary Flames.

Has Marner played his last game as a Leaf?

Dixon made four actual trade proposals that he thought the Maple Leafs should heavily consider, but this one was, by far, the most interesting.

Could the Flames and Leafs Engage In Blockbuster Deal

In this mock trade, Leafs GM Brad Treliving would be facilitating a huge shake-up with his former club. The deal is as follows:

To Calgary: F Mitch Marner, F Fraser Minten, F Nick Robertson, D Timothy Liljegren

To Toronto: G Jacob Markstrom (25% retained), D Rasmus Andersson.

This would be an absolute blockbuster trade for both sides. The Leafs would be moving out a big-name player to address other needs throughout the roster. For the Flames, they get assets in young players that contribute to their youth movement. It’s a trade that provides arguments for why it could be a win or loss for both sides. However, with mock trades, it’s common that many don’t consider other factors that would potentially result in the trade not being valid, but the entertainment factor is still there.

Let’s further examine the pieces of this deal and why it may or may not make sense for this trade to go through.

Leafs Would Be Addressing Roster Weaknesses

If this trade were to happen, Toronto would be a getting a solid starting goaltender in Markstrom while getting another top-four defenseman in Andersson.

While Markstrom is 34, he automatically becomes Toronto’s best option in net. The Leafs have experienced a goaltending carousel during the last few years, therefore never having stability in goal. Acquiring a veteran goaltender like Markstrom would allow for the Leafs to have a short-term solution in net as Markstrom’s contract expires at the end of the 2025-2026 season. He has a no-movement clause.

Jacob Markstrom Flames

At the same time, however, Markstrom is up there in age and carries a cap hit of $6 million. He also has a track record of inconsistency throughout his career.

Andersson on the other hand would be a smart addition for Toronto’s blueline. The 27-year-old Swedish defenseman has blossomed into a solid top-four option in Calgary. Toronto’s blueline looks pretty bare as Morgan Rielly is their only true top-four defenseman Adding Andersson to the mix would relieve some of the pressure off of Rielly and strengthen the blueline which we know is important come playoff time.

Andersson was shortly involved in trade rumors earlier this season and many wonder what his future holds in Calgary. If he does get dealt, Toronto could be a solid fit. Andersson carries a cap hit of about $4.5 million. During the last two seasons of his deal, Andersson carries a modified no-trade clause.

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Rasmus Andersson Flames

Flames Gain Assets For Retool

The Flames are headed in a completely different direction. There’s a new era beginning in Calgary as a promising youth movement has started under new GM Craig Conroy. A trade like this would see the addition of pieces that could help them win now but are also for later. That is exactly what a retool should be about. Young forwards in Robertson and Minten could be building blocks for the future as they develop under a new system. The Flames would also be getting Marner, who would be helping them in the present.

The Flames aren’t likely to be serious cup contenders during the remainder of Markstrom’s contract. This trade would allow the Flames to gain back notable assets for an aging player. It’s likely that Markstrom is dealt this summer as the team’s status and his desire to win don’t exactly align.

An Andersson departure would further weaken Calgary’s blueline. The Flames do receive Liljegren, but he’s not nearly at the same level. That being said, he’s still young and there’s still room for future development.

The Flames are not in a position to contend any time soon. It’s about time that a true direction is set. With many Flames fans agreeing that a rebuild/retool is needed, this trade would allow for more young pieces to come in while still keeping a competitive culture.

The Issues With This Deal

With every mock trade comes issues, and this trade certainly isn’t an exception.

For starters, Marner has a full no-movement clause. Would Calgary be a destination he would be willing to go to? There’s also his contract situation. Marner is in for a potential raise for his next deal. Would Calgary be willing to give him that money when they already have a struggling player in Jonathan Huberdeau getting paid beyond $10 million?

It’s also hard to see Toronto part with both Robertson and Minten as those are prominent young players for the organization. As for Calgary, trading Andersson is a scenario that is hard to imagine right now. The Flames aren’t interested in doing a full teardown. Andersson is in his prime and has started to emerge as a leader for the team. It’s likely the Flames only trade Andersson if they receive an offer that absolutely blows them away. Markstrom is more likely to get moved, but he’s in control of his own destiny. He can easily refuse any move that’s proposed to him due to his trade protection.

Overall this trade likely doesn’t happen, but mock trades are a fun way to express ideas. Marner’s future in Toronto is up in the air and very well could be one of the top trade targets for teams this summer.

Next: Maple Leafs All But Confirm Core Four Will Be Changed

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. MoxNix

    May 12, 2024 at 4:06 pm

    Marner makes absolutely no sense for the Flames. Him and his grossly inflated contract aren’t worth anything close to what Leaf fans and media think. He’s worth the late 1st + B prospect a top contender will pay for him with 50% retained at the deadline. Anyone who isn’t a top contender would pay less than that since they’d be doing the retention and retention on that that much salary won’t be cheap.

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