Elliotte Friedman discusses the latest in the Mitch Marner negotiations and the rumours of offer-sheet interest from other teams while Nazem Kadri speaks on nixing a trade to Calgary in today’s Leafs Links.
Marner wants to be a Leaf but wants to be in Matthews’ area (31 Thoughts)
Elliotte Friedman gave his latest insights on the Mitch Marner situation, the talk of offer sheets, and where he sees the negotiating going as the summer wears on.
On the rumours of an offer sheet coming on Marner:
Here’s what I’ve heard about Marner, and everyone is being quiet, so we’ll see how close to the truth it is. Last Friday, everybody was talking about the Islanders. I think there was another team before that. My belief is that team was Columbus. I think they were thinking about it. From what I heard, and this is not a fight — it didn’t turn into a bad negotiation. Someone said, “Don’t frame it as it turned into a fight between Columbus and the agent.” I think what happened was, if Columbus was going to do it, it had to be for seven years. What I’ve heard Marner was looking for or his side was looking for was less term than that. If you are going to go the full four picks, you’re not giving up four first rounders for three or four years. You’re just not doing that. I think that is why that one fell to the wayside. I’ve had multiple people tell me that they thought, if anybody was going to do it, it was going to be Columbus.
On what the Marner camp wants at this stage:
I think, at the end of the day, he wants to be a Leaf. I think he wants that more than anything else. I think they want him. He just wants it to be at a big number. He wants to be in the Matthews area. That is where we are.
A lot of people were pointing at the Islanders. The rumour going around was 7×12.5. I was really curious when I heard that because I didn’t know if Marner wanted to sign for term in case Toronto didn’t match. I even heard in Toronto that Marner didn’t even want that kind of a term.
I’ve got to tell you: if that happened, 7×12.5, I’m not convinced the Leafs would match it. If he signs anywhere else for that kind of term, I wouldn’t be surprised if the Islanders were high on that list.
Toronto and Marner have talked about a short term deal of two or three years and they’ve talked about six. I think Marner might want something a little bit different, but that’s kind of where they are.
Here’s the thing: What happens if somebody says, “Okay, we are going to offer sheet someone, but we are not doing it in the summer, where they can go 10% over. We are waiting into October.”
I had one prediction from an agent who said, “This is the year where if this goes into November, somebody is missing the full season.” He said, “What happened with Nylander last year is going to hurt the players. Last year, Toronto decided they were all in for the Stanley Cup, so they gave in at the last minute and gave Nylander a really good deal.” He said, “There is going to be someone this year who is looking at their season in November and saying, ‘Yeah, we are not caving in at the last second.’”
On whether the Leafs have any regrets about striking the deal at the final hour with Nylander as opposed to letting him sit out the year:
No, because I think they thought they could win the Cup. If you don’t think you are winning the Cup, yes. But they thought they were going to try to win the Cup. But I do think they regret certain things that happened in the end there. They regret just the way things happened last year. It was just a brutal year. The one thing Toronto is looking forward to more than anything else is an end to this Marner saga one way or another. Everyone thinks Carolina is lucky. Their situation is over. As Don Waddell said, they don’t have to sit there all summer and worry about it. It’s over. Toronto would like this to be over so they can turn the page and just worry about hockey.
I do think the players themselves saw what happened last year with Nylander and how poorly he played and they said, “That is bad for us.” There is a team that is going to decide that we are not going to pay for five goals or a player who is not ready based on what happened last year.
Kadri on nixing a trade to the Flames: “I figured that had I declined, I would’ve had a better opportunity of being a Maple Leaf next year” (31 Thoughts)
Nazem Kadri joined the 31 Thoughts podcast and provided some details on how the situation with the nixed trade to Calgary played out as well as his meeting with Tyson Barrie.
Kadri on what happened with the Calgary deal:
They had a deal in place. They wanted me to waive my no-trade clause. For me, it was no disrespect to Calgary or the Flames organization. I love their team and I love the direction they’re headed. I just figured that had I declined, I would’ve had a better opportunity of being a Maple Leaf next year. That’s what it came down to. I wanted to play for the Leafs next year. I wanted to be a part of that. I hoped in that declining that trade, I had aspirations of being a Leaf. Clearly, that didn’t happen. They had other plans. I am just happy to be moving to a great city and a great team with a great group of guys. I’ve talked to everybody in the organization and they’re ecstatic to want me. It’s nice to be wanted.
Kadri on the report that he and Tyson Barrie are going to rent each other’s former houses this year:
News travels fast, eh? I think that is the direction we are headed to. I met Tyson and walked him through my place the other day. He is an exceptional dude. He is a real good guy and a real stand-up guy. It is unfortunate that we couldn’t be teammates because I feel like we are pretty similar in terms of personalities. That definitely has the potential of happening.
Kadri on what he and Tyson Barrie talked about:
We just talked about life and obviously the city. He was looking for a place in Toronto and I was doing the same in Denver. It actually made me feel a lot more comfortable talking to him and knowing what the Avalanche are all about and what playing there is all about — just all the details. That certainly made me feel a lot more comfortable.
Kadri on what he told Barrie about playing in Toronto:
I’ve got nothing but love for the city. I’ve got nothing but good things to say. They’ve always treated me well. Fans have respected me — well most of them, anyways. I love the city of Toronto. I loved being a Maple Leaf. They spoil you, too. It is a great organization. A lot of class. Some great people are a part of it. I just told him all those things and tried to make him feel more comfortable. At the same time, he understands that he is going to be under a microscope a bit more.
Other Leafs Links
- Where have they improved and where do the question marks remain? (MLHS)
- Are the Leafs going to be better than last season? (The Athletic)
- Blues acquire Dakota Joshua in trade with Maple Leafs (Sportsnet)
- Maple Leafs quietly grooming Frederik Andersen’s successor (Sportsnet)
- Robertson destined to join Maple Leafs, play for Babcock (NHL.com)
- Tyson Barrie’s asking price not so outrageous (Sportsnet)