The Toronto Maple Leafs never should have traded Mason Marchment.
When it comes to Toronto Maple Leafs trades, the Mason Marchment deal is never spoke of enough. On February 19th, 2020, right before the world shut down, Toronto traded him to the Florida Panthers for Denis Malgin.
Malgin played eight games for the Leafs and has been spending the majority of his time in the Switzerland Hockey League ever since. It was a terrible assessment of talent, especially as the Leafs already had 10 guys who were just like Malgin.
Malgin is younger than Marchment and had way more NHL experience, but he was a 5-foot-9, 177 pound centre on a team that was already set down the middle. Malgin also could play wing, but he didn’t fit a top-six role in the Leafs and he didn’t seem like a fit as the fourth-line centre.
He was an experiment that clearly didn’t work out and another small-sized player that the Leafs continue to stockpile.
Over Kyle Dubas’ tenure, they’ve always gone with skill over size, which isn’t a terrible thing. Skill scores goals and wins hockey games, but size is also important, especially when that size has offensive talent.
Insert Mason Marchment
Toronto Maple Leafs Never Should Have Traded Marchment
One of the reasons why so many fans wanted Morgan Rielly to re-sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs was because he was a home-grown talent. The same thing could be said about Marchment and it’s one of the reasons why I was so disappointed to see him leave.
Marchment never had great stats in junior hockey and his skating was underdeveloped, which was a huge reason why he never got drafted. However, the Toronto Maple Leafs saw him as a work-in-progress and signed him in 2015 to the Toronto Marlies.
Throughout his journey, Marchment was one of Dubas’ biggest experiments. When Dubas joined the Leafs, he took the MLB approach when it comes to development. He wanted his ECHL team to be like A or AA-Ball, his AHL team like AAA Ball and the NHL as obviously the finished product.
Every team didn’t generate this way, mostly because of the cost and resources, but Toronto had the luxury of unlimited money, so they used the Orlando Solar Bears (now Newfound Growlers) as a great way to develop talent.
Marchment gained confidence with the Solar Bears and continued that success with the Toronto Marlies, where he was a huge influence on the 2017-18 Calder Cup winning roster. With nine points in 20 playoff games, he was a force throughout the entire playoffs and came through clutch with a pair of goals in Game 7 to clinch the trophy.
Although he was getting “old” for a prospect, he was getting better every year, thanks in large part to skating coach, Barb Underhill.
“After we won … she came right on the ice and gave me a big hug.
That was like a cool moment. I got to introduce her to all my friends and family after that. So she’s definitely been a huge part of my life and my development,” said Marchment (via: Kevin McGran of The Toronto Star)
Marchment was continuing to get better and even had 18 points in 24 games before getting traded for Malgin. In four NHL games that season, Marchment only had one assist with the Leafs, but clearly in those games, Toronto didn’t think he was ready for the next step.
That was a big mistake because in seven games with the Panthers, Marchment has one goal and five points. He’s getting an opportunity to play around 13 minutes per night and is really flourishing on a good Panthers team.
Marchment only makes $800K so it’s not like the team gave him away to free up salary, but instead, they could have had more cap-relief if he was still on the roster.
It’s always disappointing to see home-grown talent leave for nothing, especially when they’re making a difference with a division rival. Best of luck to Marchment throughout the rest of the year, except when he’s playing the Toronto Maple Leafs.