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Insider Makes Compelling Case for Maple Leafs Trading Marner

The Toronto Maple Leafs have been unsuccessful during the postseason. Why might trading Mitch Marner become an answer?

Does trading Mitch Marner improv the Toronto Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup chances? That’s the content today’s post will explore. In truth, the idea comes from Justin Bourne as part of Sportsnet’s Real Kyper & Bourne Podcast.

The video can be seen below.

Setting the Context for This Discussion

The Maple Leafs are a team known for its talented roster. But, they have consistently fallen short of playoff success. As fans and analysts suggest answers, the idea of trading star forward Mitch Marner has emerged as a possible solution. In this post, I’ll discuss the possibility that a Marner trade might impact the Maple Leafs’ positively as the team pursues a Stanley Cup. As noted, the content of this post comes from the ideas that Justin Bourne put forth on a recent Sportsnet’s Real Kyper & Bourne Podcast.

Related: 4 Reasons the Maple Leafs Shouldn’t Trade Conor Timmins

What Are the Possibilities?

As Bourne notes, trading a superstar like Marner isn’t an easy decision. As well, making the trade comes with a list of risks and challenges. Bourne acknowledges that acquiring equal value in return for a player of Marner’s caliber is a daunting task.

Mitch Marner Maple Leafs

That said, an exploration of the trade market might suggest that the Maple Leafs can address an area of need while, at the same time, shaving off a ton of the team’s salary-cap problem. It might also move the team closer to where it wants to go – the Stanley Cup final.

Trading Marner Could Help Address the Team’s Goaltending Needs

One area of concern for the Maple Leafs is goaltending. Bourne questions whether the team can rely on their current goaltenders, Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll, to carry them to playoff success. He proposes that a goalie like Juuse Saros from the Nashville Predators could be a better option.

Saros is a top-tier goalie. He also has a manageable salary of $5 million for the next two seasons. He could provide stability and elevate the team’s performance between the pipes.

Related: Maple Leafs: Working to Redefine Insanity

Trading Marner Could Help the Team Utilize Its Cap Space Wisely

In today’s NHL, salary-cap space is a valuable asset. By trading Marner’s $11 million contract and acquiring Saros, the Maple Leafs would free up significant cap space. The salary-cap flexibility his trade would bring could also open doors for additional roster improvements.

For example, Bourne suggests that the extra $6 million in salary-cap space would allow the team to pursue a defenseman like Dmitry Orlov. Orlov has proven to be reliable and would add depth to the blue line. By making strategic signings and optimizing the cap space, the Maple Leafs could address defensive weaknesses while maintaining their offensive firepower.

Balancing the Trade-offs

While a Marner trade might help address specific areas of concern, there are potential downsides. Losing Marner undoubtedly would impact the team’s offensive ability. He’s been a key contributor to the team’s ability to score goals. That said if the Maple Leafs focused on a balanced roster, they could still maintain their goal-scoring capabilities while bolstering other areas of need. The objective would be to create a team that could excel during both the regular season and the playoffs.

If Marner Would Be Traded, It Might Be Seen as His Own Fault

Trading Marner would make a huge splash. While there would be many Maple Leafs’ fans who would not like the trade, there are others who would relish it. In some ways, if Marner were traded it would be his fault. His agent was the one who pushed so hard for his high salary; and, that put the target on him as a player to trade in a salary-cap dump.

MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4
MItch Marner Maple Leafs 4

At the same time, it would alleviate the need for new Maple Leafs’ general manager (GM) Brad Treliving to have to face the problematic showdown that would likely occur the next time Marner would negotiate his next contract.

The Bottom Line

Should the Maple Leafs trade Marner, it would be a desperate move to exorcise the team’s repeated postseason disappointments. However, Bourne’s insights about the outcome are logical and make pragmatic sense. Would the trade help the team further its goal to reach the Stanley Cup final?

Ultimately, in the quest to build a championship-caliber team that could contend for the Stanley Cup, the team might be wise to move one of its best players. Very interesting.

Related: If Maple Leafs Dump TJ Brodie? Big Mistake



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  2. Afo1961

    June 21, 2023 at 6:35 pm

    Jim – I admire that you have adjusted your tune on MM after years of being one of his biggest defenders.

    As I have written repeatedly for years, MM is not a player that will take us to the promise land. He does not have that 2nd gear and is now known as a playoff blunder. Couple that with his overpaid salary by at least 2m and his agents approach and you do indeed get the shift by leaf nation.

    I suggested the other day that even a trade for two B level and one C level player would also be a good approach. It would balance the team with depth in areas of need not to mention the message it sends that there is no longer a core four.

    I also like a Hannifin and Lindholm trade for MM and NRob and a prospect.

    There are options

    • gfinale

      June 21, 2023 at 9:04 pm

      Sounds fine. The only stipulation I would make is anybody coming back must have 2 years or more left on contract…just like Marner does.

    • Alex McWhirter

      June 22, 2023 at 12:11 pm

      This is just crazy talk if you ask me, Marner is one of the best player’s on this team. If you’re trading a core player make it Mathews or Nylander, Mathews is all about Mathews you don’t win when you’ve got a player like Mathews sucking every cent he can get. Move him and if the other two want to stay sign them to reasonable contracts. That would be a lot easier if Mathews was removed from the equation. You’re not winning this trade but wouldn’t the win be not being sucked dry every 3 to 5yrs and it’s not like you wouldn’t aquire a few good player’s with a pick or two and with the rest of the Cap space you have enough to round out your lineup. Same goes for Nylander, if the negotiations start going sideways trade him again it’s not like you wouldn’t get back a couple of good player’s and a pick. That’s how to change the culture that you have now. To be honest it doesn’t help having Sheldon behind the bench for another season. Can’t believe how quite it’s been around the Leaf’s, not even one announcement of a ufa being signed guess Treliving is keeping his options open. Will any of Sammy, Scheen, Accari, ROR, Bunting, Guss, Kampf, ZAR, Holmberg, get signed by the Leaf’s. Will the core four stay intact or will one be moved. Will Treliving try and move TJ or Jankrok, that’s a whole lot of questions without many answers, I guess all will be answered in the next couple of weeks. The one thing about Treliving I’m sure that he won’t be focused on small but talented player’s, he sound’s like he’s more about size and grit that can add to what the Leaf’s already have speed and talent. If Treliving brings in that top defender with that second line center and of course that missing winger, and either Sammy or an upgrade on him, that would make for a great start. Unless Treliving moves out a core player and move a couple of other players I’m not optimistic that much will be different about this upcoming season. Cheerz

    • Wendel4Assistant

      June 22, 2023 at 3:51 pm

      COMPLETE NONSENSE!! Marner is a great player. He has vision and can score. He’s not the toughest but would you want that type of player hurting himself and then missing games. The issue is Dubas built a team of players mostly 5 8 to 6 0 that all play the same style. You need grit you need the sandpaper to support those players. Just be patient we have waited since 67 so what’s a few more years when JTs contract is done then we will be set .

  3. Steve, Toronto

    June 21, 2023 at 7:55 pm

    I sometimes wonder how many commentators, insiders, and bloggers are actually experts in their field. How trading Marner would bring them closer to the Stanley Cup is beyond me.

    For the record, I am not overly attached to any of Matthews, Marner, Tavares, Nylander or Rielly. However, if you do not stop to think of the makeup of this talent pool, you can never build a winning team, period! Both our top centers are shooters/scorers. Neither are playmakers and Matthews is only a measure better defensively than Tavares. What must both these players have to be successful? A passer, that’s what. Marner is the only one of four wing spots that can do that. If you trade him, you all but nullify the need to have these two and their massive contracts at all!! Try trading Nylander to Vancouver for JT Miller for example. Now you have two centers, one right wing passer, one left wing playdriver, and then you could probably slot in Jarnkrok on the right and and Knies on the left and end up with two far more balanced top lines. Trade Marner and you may as well start the rebuild now.

  4. gfinale

    June 21, 2023 at 8:53 pm

    If Tre allows Matthews and Marner to stay until their July 1 NMCs kick in, he’s completely lost me. When you have an unproven concept with these Corpse 4 for 7 years of playoff failures, it’s not desperate but rather, intelligent to trade at least one of the highest paid. For one, it would make the Leafs more like other good teams in the playoffs instead of off in space and hence, more likely to do better in the playoffs. It makes absolute logical, reasonable and intelligent sense to do.

  5. Jon Harding

    June 22, 2023 at 8:45 am

    Old Prof – urgent message to you. You must look into and write about Larry Tanenbaum’s share sale to a public pension manager. This is the worst possible scenario for a sports franchise and will doom the Maple Leafs for years to come. Ultra-risk averse owners who expect income to roll in from assets they hope will behave like a utility makes for the worst sports ownership imaginable. This is a pending disaster.

  6. Miguel

    June 22, 2023 at 10:29 am

    Marner makes everyone else on his lines look good. Matthews only makes himself look good. For the same salary, trade Matthews instead, get a bigger return and you wont be paying $14 million for a ‘star’ that has disappeared in every playoff series he’s played in.

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  8. 1967

    June 22, 2023 at 3:10 pm

    Only trade for two young top players like Hirsler and Mercer from New Jersey or Seider and Raymond from Detroit.

  9. Michael Black

    June 22, 2023 at 7:43 pm

    Looks like Jason has gone full click-bait. Tool.

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