The Toronto Maple Leafs recently secured William Nylander with a contract extension worth $11.5M AAV, raising questions about the future of Mitch Marner.
The ongoing discourse about the Toronto Maple Leafs core-four hasn't centered on on-ice performance but rather the financial dynamics within the team.
Critics argue against the viability of winning a Stanley Cup with three players earning over $10M AAV. With Nylander's re-signing, the Leafs now boast four such players.
Currently, the Leafs face a challenging cap situation, holding only $21M in cap space with 11 players to re-sign next year. While competitiveness remains possible, it necessitates creative maneuvering. Former GM Kyle Dubas excelled in discovering hidden gems, but current executive Brad Treliving is criticized for overpaying players.
The Toronto Maple Leafs Should Seriously Consider Trading Marner
Treliving's generosity in contracts, whether for Max Domi, John Klingberg, David Kampf, or Ryan Reaves, raises eyebrows.
While the John Tavares contract is intriguing, the focus shifts to the potential departure of Marner. Despite Marner's exceptional talent, penalty-kill prowess, playmaking skills, and team camaraderie, he emerges as one of the NHL's premier trade assets.
If the Toronto Maple Leafs fall short in the First Round this season, the question arises: why maintain the status quo when a transformative move is plausible? While retaining Marner for another run is an option, exploring trade possibilities could yield valuable returns.
Marner's $10.93M contract is undoubtedly costly, yet it represents a tradable asset. It's not an endorsement for an immediate trade, but a consideration. Trading Marner, albeit risky, could fetch pieces that bolster team depth.
Recent playoffs underscore that star wingers alone don't secure the Stanley Cup. It's the combination of robust defensemen, stellar goaltending, and a standout center that prevails. Marner, while an outstanding asset, prompts a reevaluation given Nylander's extension.
The Leafs have the potential to make a significant roster improvement. Trading Marner could fortify the team's depth, relying on Nylander and Matthews for offensive firepower. In the quest for playoff success, a strategic move might outweigh the comfort of continuity.