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Was Pastrnak’s Goal the Last Image of Mitch Marner as a Maple Leaf?

David Pastrnak flying past Mitch Marner might be the last image Maple Leafs fans have of the forward in a Leafs jersey. He could be gone.

Fans of the Toronto Maple Leafs were hard on Mitch Marner before Saturday night’s loss to the Boston Bruins in Game 7. Watching him fail to check David Pastrnak as No. 88 sailed past him in the neutral zone on the game-winning, series-clinching overtime goal has only made things worse. Many in Leafs Nation are holding him responsible and the comments about his effort level, particularly on that play revolve around him being traded or moved by the team.

Related: Maple Leafs Lose Game 7 to Bruins, Insider Says Changes Coming

“If you can sit here and defend Mitch Marner for how he played tonight then you need a smack in the head. I’m so tired of people defending this garbage playoff player. Guy asks for Matthews’ money when he shows this kind of effort? GET OFF MY TEAM.” wrote one Twitter user (@matthewsgirl_34). Mike Stephens of the Staff & Graph Podcast wrote, “That should do it for Mitch Marner as a Toronto Maple Leaf. held out for one of the highest AAVs in the league and has completely no-showed in literally every high-leverage playoff moment he’s ever been in. This era is over.” Another wrote, “Do not let anyone tell you it was anyone’s fault other than Mitch’s. Players invested in a series do not let their mark fly by like that. Send him to California!”

Another wrote, “I don’t ever want to see Mitch Marner play for the Maple Leafs ever again. I don’t care about the fact that he scores 90 points. Please trade him for a haul and build a winning team.”

Most are reacting to the video of Pastrnak skating behind an oblivious Marner on the overtime play, but others are citing the fact that the play was just one of many that frustrated them during the playoffs. Marner took heat for repeatedly showing little effort, snapping on the bench throwing his gloves, and arguing with teammates. When it mattered most, Marner didn’t perform. Now, many are saying it’s time to go.

Why Would the Maple Leafs Want to Build Around Him?

Nick Kypreos believes the Maple Leafs won’t pony up the $12 million or more that Marner wants on his next deal and that the team will move on. If they’re going to choose to move on, the team will need to figure a way to work around his no-move clause, which gives him all the leverage to decide where and when he goes. If he doesn’t want to be traded, there’s not much the Leafs can do.

Mitch Marner Maple Leafs forward

Marner finished with just three points in this year’s playoffs. It’s his lowest personal total in any postseason. Marner and John Tavares are each about to enter the final year of their respective contracts and the team could simply let him walk and choose not to sign him as a free agent. It would be huge asset mismanagement if that were to occur, but at least the team could move on.

At this point, if you were to ask some fans, many still emotional from last night’s loss, they wouldn’t care. That he was one of the few Maple Leafs not to speak with the media after the Leafs lost only hurts his chances of getting back in the good books of a lot of the Toronto fan base.

Next: Why Oddsmakers Favor the Oilers as They Take On Canucks


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