The idea of the Toronto Maple Leafs trading Mitch Marner has been floating around ever since the he signed his contract, but that discussion needs to stop.
Like many Toronto Maple Leafs fans, I love throwing Mitch Marner’s name into hypothetical trades because it’s fun to live in a fantasy world, sometimes. Seeing how the team could get three players making $3.5M or two players making $5.5M for his services is something that I think a lot of Leafs fans have entertained.
Nobody has ever questioned the skill of Marner.
In fact, it’s almost impossible to do so, as he was voted to the NHL First All-Star Team last year, as the league’s best right-winger. I know his salary ($10.903M) seems high for a winger, but when you’re the best in the league at that position, you really can’t argue his worth.
That argument gets more heightened when you look down the QEW to find Buffalo Sabres’ Jeff Skinner making $9M until 2027. He scored seven goals and had 14 points last year, while 41-year-old Joe Thornton had more points than him, while making $8M less.
His playoff failure has been the biggest question-mark but at this point in the season, we can’t even think about that happening again.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Won’t be Trading Mitch Marner
As crazy as this statement sounds, getting injured and having Covid may have been the best thing that’s happened to Marner this year. Prior to his time-off, he had six goals and 21 points and was pacing below his point-per-game average, despite putting up solid underlying numbers.
It wasn’t an abysmal start but it was a much slower start than we’d expected.
The narrative around him not scoring a power-play goal for 100 games was plastered on every sports website and people were criticizing him left, right and centre. Instead of letting that get to him, that criticism has sparked his game and he’s playing with more confidence and it’s showing on the scoresheet.
In his last seven games, he has eight goals (including a seven-game goal streak) and 16 points. We’ve never seen this type of goal-scoring consistency in Marner’s career, so it’s incredible to watch.
Marner has always been the play-making type, so if he can continue to find the back of the net, he becomes even more valuable than he currently is.
I know they’ve played inferior opponents such as New Jersey (twice) and Detroit in their past three games, but not they’re not always guaranteed victories. Marner’s offensive outburst is arguably the main reason why they were victorious in all three games.
After this hot-streak, Marner is now on pace for 30 goals and 82 points which would be his second best offensive season in his career. Considering the fact that he’s missed nine games this year, that’s pretty impressive for the 24-year-old.
Obviously, the biggest question will be whether or this offensive production continues in the playoffs, but at this pace, Marner is continuing show why he’s worth a $10M-plus contract and is showing every Leafs fan why he’s one of the best players in the league.
If you think Toronto is considering trading this player anytime soon, think again, it’s not happening.