The Toronto Maple Leafs got extremely unlucky back in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft.
Though the Toronto Maple Leafs didn’t enter the draft lottery with the best chance to win, by the time everything came down to the final pick, they had the best odds to get Connor McDavid, but it didn’t work out.
It was just another thing in a long line of crap to happen to this franchise that came within a whisker of getting Wayne Gretzky, Mario Lemieux, Eric LIndros, Scott Niedermeyer, Joe Sakic and Robert Luongo but didn’t.
The tide seemed to turn at the actual draft table when the Arizona Coyotes inexplicably selected Dylan Strome and Mitch Marner fell into the Leafs lap.
The following year the Leafs would win the lottery and draft Auston Matthews. A couple years later they’d get John Tavares and they would have one of the best and most exciting young rosters in the NHL.
But Mitch Marner’s greed and stupidity is now threatening that.
Marner Needs Better Advice
Look, I get that the player wants to make a lot of money.
But the rumours going around about how he felt disrespected that he didn’t get some extra bonus money in his ECL contract, or how he wants to be considered Matthews’ equal are silly and petty.
They make him seem small and immature.
Marner is either the bad guy here, or he’s getting terrible advice. I haven’t seen a player burn his reputation to the ground like this in my entire life. A month ago this guy could have been mayor of the city. (And if signs soon, everyone will forget the last month).
He is beloved in this city. Management might (rightly) consider him second in command to Auston Matthews, but the fans don’t.
Mitch Marner will join Wendel Clark and Doug Gilmour in the real Legends Row of Toronto Maple Leafs fans – the one the exists deep within the heart of the most hardcore Leafs supporters.
But someone needs to ask him why he’s willing to leverage this love in exchange for a few more dollars he doesn’t even need?
The Leafs will make him rich beyond his wildest dreams, but if he is insistent on acting like a petulant child who desperately needs to be loved, then he is either going to find himself on a new team, or cripple the ability of this one to win.
What’s the point?
William Nylander was first up, and he didn’t want to sign for an amount only to see his two peers receive massively inflated salaries. That made sense.
He signed for $7 million, and frankly, in terms of value, compared to Matthews $11.5 he probably did get screwed over quite a bit.
But Matthews is special, so it’s understandable. But Mitch Marner isn’t worth a million more than Nylander, let alone $4 or $5 million more, like he is apparently seeking. Statistically, they’re similar players.
I am all for paying Marner whatever it takes to keep him in Toronto because I think that losing him will be a blow this team can’t recover from. I think it’s fair to pay him, and it’s smart to overpay him if you have to.
But if he signs an offer-sheet, I don’t think I want him here anymore. It’s a betrayal that I won’t forgive. I think players deserve to compensated fairly, and I’ll always support a player over management.
However, Marner is acting like a baby. He needs to grow up or get lost.
That’s my two cents.