What if the Toronto Maple Leafs and the Oilers Made a Core-Altering Trade?

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs
Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

There's a potential trade between the Toronto Maple Leafs and Edmonton Oilers that could shock the hockey world, yet improve both teams drastically.

Rumors are swirling around Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner right now, as many expect him to be traded this offseason. If the Oilers fall short of their Stanley Cup goals, their fans are likely going to be as exasperated as Leafs fans are. So could each team alter their core by swapping their best wingers?

Over the past six seasons, there hasn't been a more consistent winger in hockey than Marner. He's been over a point-per-game every season and has been on pace for 100 points four seasons on a row. Not only that, but he plays on the team's first penalty-kill and is very good defensively, even being nominated for the Selke last year.

Despite having so many green flag's, the fanbase continues to point out his playoff flaws.

Marner has been criticized for not scoring that much in the playoffs and has just 50 points in 57 career playoff games, which is good, but it isn't at the same level that it is during the regular season.

Marner's lack of offense in the playoffs is likely tied to his defensive play, and while it's unsexy, the Leafs have won over 60% of his minutes over the last three seasons. The opposing team scores a lot less when Marner is on the ice than when he's off it.

Draisaitl for Marner: Who Says No?

As a result, many people want the Leafs to trade Marner and start fresh. So what player could the Leafs start fresh with? Well, there's a certain player on the Edmonton Oilers who's set to hit free agency in 2025, just like Marner.

And if Leafs fans are sick of waiting for the Matthews/Marner combo to click in the playoffs, it's at least conceivable that the Oilers are feeling the same way about their core duo.

Draisaitl, makes $8.5M and may have the best contract in hockey, however once he hits free agency, he's due for a HUGE raise. Marner on the other hand, makes $10.93M per year, and probably won't get a much bigger raise in 2025.

The money discrepancy is only for a year, and the Oilers and Leafs could easily work out the difference. With Marner, the Oilers get a more defensive look at 5v5 while still having a superstar to pair with Connor McDavid.

If you're the Leafs, trading for Draisaitl is a no-brainer precisely because he doesn't play strong defense. Maybe the Leafs don't need two defensively responsible forwards, and maybe a Draisaitl's more one-dimensional style is what they need to finally break through in the playoffs.

Draisaitl and Marner are both great players, and most people would probably say Draisaitl is better because of his raw scoring totals, but Marner makes up for it by playing a far more complete game. Marner is slightly younger, and way more expensive, but that coudl likely be worked out. The point here is that if the Oilers lose, the Leafs and Oilers would be similar positions, and so a classic "change of scenery" move might be just the thing for both franchises.


It may sound crazy, but If you're the Leafs, you would do this deal in a heartbeat, and if you're the Oilers, I think you would seriously consider it, especially if they lose in the playoffs again.