Mitch Marner more concerned with what the fans think versus everything else

Josh tupper
June 3, 2024  (9:26)

Mitch Marner stands during anthem
Photo credit: NHL

Mitch Marner is expected to be shopped by the Toronto Maple Leafs this summer, however, it appears he remains concerned about fan opinion according to Elliotte Friedman.

Ever since the Toronto Maple Leafs were eliminated from the playoffs by the Boston Bruins, rumors have swirled that Mitch Marner will be the sacrificial lamb for the franchise. The talented winger is rumored to be the scapegoat for the team and all their playoff failures. As Toronto looks to reshape their team it will be Marner likely on his way out.
Despite the Maple Leafs insistence on making changes, it is in fact Marner who holds all the control. In his current contract, Mitch Marner has a no movement clause which grants him the ability to veto any move to any team at any time. While some reports have indicated he would be willing to accommodate a move to certain locations others claim, he remains steadfast on not moving at all.
On this morning's 32 Thoughts Podcast Elliotte Friedman shared the following update:
"Everybody's trying to be really careful here, but one of the things that a few people have told me is not to be surprised if this plays out over next season with Marner and Toronto.

Now, there's 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.

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

Also, the player is determined, and more importantly, the people around the player, are determined to do this and make themselves look good. They're not going to do anything that they think puts them in a bad light, so this is a really complicated thing going in.

I want to throw a couple of other points out there to you. Number one, I think that there is some real concern about how the Toronto fans will react to Marner if he starts next year unsigned. And you can't avoid that... If that's what Marner wants to do, he has every right in the world to do it, but he has to understand that some of the fanbase is not going to react very well to that and you have to play through that. Are you comfortable with that? Can you handle that? And I do believe that's one of the things that's been discussed.

The other issue that [the Maple Leafs] are dealing with here, and I think there are people in the organization who feel very strongly about this, is that they traded Nazem Kadri a couple of years ago when they were mad at him... Nazem Kadri went somewhere else, sorted himself out, was a critical member of a Stanley Cup champion, and is a player that Toronto very much missed after he left and I think there are people in the organization who are looking at this and believe, 'could this be Kadri 2.0?', where Marner goes somewhere else where the spotlight is less intense, he learns how to balance everything and goes out and becomes a key player on a Stanley Cup Champion in another city - which I do believe could happen.

To me, that is a very legitimate thing, that Marner could go somewhere else quieter and really thrive. I think he's a great player and I think he could become an even better player without the spotlight. And I do think there are people within the organization who are very scared of the possibility of that happening."

The Marner situation is one that may not be resolved before the season starts and could see the Maple Leafs walk the forward to free agency next season. That's where things get tricky for Marner, and possibly cost the forward significant dollars.
If the Maple Leafs are content on letting Marner leave next summer as a free agent, he will only be eligible to receive a 7-year contract. As no other team will be able to offer him the 8th year, there is the potential for significant earnings loss. So both the Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner must sit down and figure out what is best for both parties.
One thing is for sure if what is most important to Mitch Marner and his camp is the public perception, the group has their priorities seriously out of whack.
JUNE 3   |   238 ANSWERS
Mitch Marner more concerned with what the fans think versus everything else

What will happen with Mitch Marner?

He'll be traded16067.2 %
He stays in Toronto and signs an extension5121.4 %
The Leafs let him walk2711.3 %
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