How Nylander’s extension with Maple Leafs impacts Marner’s next deal

Kyper & Bourne debate how William Nylander's new deal will affect Mitch Marner's future contract negotiations, looking at how the Maple Leafs perform this postseason as a major factor in his next deal.

The ink is still drying on William Nylander’s new eight-year, $92-million extension with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but that doesn’t mean it’s too early to look ahead to what’s next.

And what’s next — at least, first up this summer — will be negotiating a new contract with Mitch Marner.

Marner, the third member of the Maple Leafs’ dynamic three-headed monster up front, is set to become an unrestricted free agent on July 1, 2025. So is captain John Tavares, but deciding how to proceed with the younger Marner should be priority No. 1 for the Maple Leafs.

“All we could do was we could only tackle these one at a time when they came up… Auston (Matthews) and Willy were both going into their final years, we were able to get those done, and now you see what’s next on the list,” general manager Brad Treliving said Monday. “You’re going to have a cap that increases but we’re also not blind to the fact that there’s other areas of our team, as we move forward, that (we) have to improve and we’ll continue to do that.”

While the Maple Leafs and Marner can’t officially sign an extension until July 1 of this year, here is an early look at what his next contract might look like — and how it could impact the team’s wider cap picture.

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What will Marner’s next deal look like?

Re-upping with Marner should be a no-brainer and it would be nearly impossible to replace him in a trade or via free agency. There aren’t many wingers in the NHL more dynamic with the puck than the Markham, Ont., native and he contributes to both special teams while averaging 21:25 of ice time (second among Leafs forwards). A raise on his current $10.9 million average annual value is expected.

Marner will be 28 when his next deal begins. We can estimate what that raise will be by looking at some other recent contracts signed by wingers with comparable offensive production at a similar age.


Points Per Game


Cap Percentage

David Pastrnak




William Nylander




Jonathan Huberdeau




Johnny Gaudreau




Matthew Tkachuk




* Marner has 1.09 points per game in his career to date.

If Marner can get the same 13.47 per cent of the cap that David Pastrnak got on his new contract that began this season — and he will certainly be shooting for that threshold in negotiations — then his new AAV on a max-term eight-year deal could be $12.392 million.

How would that impact Toronto’s overall cap outlook?

The Maple Leafs only have six players signed for the 2025-26 season, so plenty of space is available for Marner’s next contract. But management will still need to decide whether signing Marner is the best way to use that space.

As it stands already, in 2024-25 the Maple Leafs will have four players making more than $10 million and four of the NHL’s 11 highest AAVs that season. While Tavares could take a pay cut when his contract is up for renewal after next season, Marner’s salary is going to go up.

In the scenario where Marner’s next deal has an average annual value of $12.392 million, the Maple Leafs would be entering unprecedented territory. When Marner’s new total is added to the $13.25 million for Auston Matthews and $11.5 million for Nylander, the Maple Leafs would have 40.37 per cent of a $92 million cap committed to three players.

No team in the past decade has won the Stanley Cup with that much of the cap allocated to three stars.

The past 10 Stanley Cup champions have, on average, committed 31.94 per cent of the salary cap to their three highest-paid players. The highest rate belongs to the Pittsburgh Penguins core of Sidney Crosby, Evgeni Malkin and Kris Letang, who took up around 35 per cent of the cap during two championship years.



Three Highest AAVs combined

Salary Cap

Cap Percentage


Maple Leafs















Golden Knights














* Maple Leafs totals are estimated.

The Maple Leafs, of course, will also have to navigate a bunch of other salary-cap-related challenges between now and the 2025-26 season, including:

• Negotiating a new contract with Tavares, the team’s captain who remains an important member of the top six.

• Finding forward talent to fill out the lineup with only Matthews, Nylander, Calle Jarnkrok, David Kampf and Ryan Reaves signed for 2025-26.

• Building a blue line around Morgan Rielly, who is the only defenceman signed beyond next season.

• Coming to terms with rising stars Timothy Liljegren (RFA this summer) and Matthew Knies and Joseph Woll (RFAs in 2025).

However, while the Maple Leafs have faced similar cap crunches before, one factor should work more in their favour this time. When Matthews, Marner and Tavares were Toronto’s three highest-paid players they combined to make 41.1 per cent of an $81.5 million cap that was relatively, and unexpectedly, level for four years due to pandemic economics. Now the cap is quickly rising again, so over time the share of the pie going to a Matthews-Nylander-Marner core should decrease.

One other significant factor that can’t be quantified: winning. To this point the Maple Leafs have won just one playoff series with the current core. But if that changes this spring, suddenly the perception around the whole group changes.

This is why the Maple Leafs are facing a crossroads with Marner this summer. Should Toronto pay Marner his market value and attempt to build a champion under a rising cap? Or should the Maple Leafs move on from Marner and attempt to add in other areas? The 2024 playoffs could shape much of this off-season discussion.

There’s no way to know for sure which path is the right one, but the ripple effects from whichever one management chooses will be felt for years to come.

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