Not ‘An Appetite To Talk’ Between Leafs & Mitch Marner: Report

Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner is entering a crucial season.

Getty Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner is entering a crucial season.

The NHL is taking a few days off between the end of the conference finals and the Stanely Cup Final. That doesn’t mean rumors have stopped to emerge, including two different reports about the Toronto Maple Leafs and superstar Mitch Marner.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and The Athletic’s Pierre LeBrun shared new information regarding the situation between the player and the franchise on June 3.

According to Friedman, the Leafs won’t rush any decision regarding offering Marner a contract extension or looking for trade options, likely dragging the saga deep into the summer and potentially through the 2024-25 regular season.

“Don’t be surprised if Marner’s situation plays out over the next season in Toronto,” Friedman said during an episode of his 32 Thoughts podcast released on June 3. “There is a lot of time between here and then, and things can always change, but this is such a delicate conversation between player and team because everyone is determined to look like a winner here.”

Neither of Maple Leafs Nor Mitch Marner Wants to Budge

Friedman believes “everyone is determined to look like a winner here,” which means Toronto wants to complete a good trade and that Marner wants to either sign an extension or allow a trade (by waving his full No-Move Clause) only to land on an optimal destination.

“The Leafs are determined to either make a good trade or, with the cap room that’s created by that trade, do something big,” Eliotte said. “They know they can’t afford to have a swing and a miss with this one.”

From Marner’s perspective, both the forward and his entourage are trying to find the best solution for his career going forward, according to Friedman.

“The player is determined–and more importantly, the people around the player are determined–to make themselves look good,” Friedman said. “They’re not going to agree to anything that they think puts them in a bad light.

“So, this is a really complicated thing going in.”

Cold War Between Marner & Toronto?

Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic offered an interesting angle related to the Marner saga in Toronto, writing on June 3 that “there’s really nothing new at the moment.”

While that might seem like a no-news item, it’s revelatory when placed next to Friedman’s own update, as it indicates there could be, in fact, some sort of “cold war” between both parties at least for now.

“[Marner’s agent] Darren Ferris isn’t putting together a list of teams for a potential trade,” LeBrun reported. “The focus for Marner, who has a full no-move clause, is on honoring the remaining year of his contract and seeing where things go from there.”

LeBron, in different words but a similar way to how Friedman delivered his update, also believes the Leafs and Marner are not quite interested in discussing an extension for the time being. That means both sides might be trying to find a way to “look like a winner,” as Friedman put it.

“I don’t think there’s an appetite to talk extension come July 1,” LeBrun wrote. “The preference from the Marner camp is to start the season and see how things go. Perhaps there are talks on an extension eventually, but I don’t believe there’s a strong desire to get into them this summer.”

Mitch Marner & Craig Berube Coffee Metting Goes Viral

Marner didn’t appear in public after the Maple Leafs end-of-season media availability on May 6. The same went for Leafs head coach Craig Berube, last seen on May 21.

Then, out of the blue, a fan (X user @vinterista_) captured both men meeting in a coffee shop on May 27 and discussing something still unknown.

The picture sparked a lot of speculation among fans. A week later, following the reports from Friedman and LeBrun, it sounds like there have been no real advancements in the talks between Marner and the Leafs.

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