Why Maple Leafs could look to trade Mitch Marner this week

NHL insider Frank Seravalli joins the JD Bunkis Podcast to discuss the future of Mitch Marner with Maple Leafs, why he believes the team will do everything in their power to try and make something happen, and why extending him is not on the table.

Mitch Marner’s time with the Toronto Maple Leafs could come to an end very soon.

NHL insider Frank Seravalli joined The JD Bunkis Podcast on Monday and said if the Maple Leafs trade Marner, there’s a “strong likelihood” it’ll happen this week.

“I think the Toronto Maple Leafs are going to do everything within their power to try and make something happen,” Seravalli said. “Whether or not he goes for it is a different story, but I think it’s the story because if you’re sitting there as a Leaf fan and you’re saying this team has made the determination that it’s time to move on and he’s not willing, how’s it going to work out for him next year when the Leafs tell everyone, ‘Yeah, we tried to move him and he said no.’”

Marner finished third on the team in scoring during the regular season with 85 points (26 goals and 59 assists) in 69 games but has faced criticism for his lack of playoff production.

The 27-year-old winger from Markham, Ont., registered just one goal and two assists in seven games as the Leafs fell to the Boston Bruins in the first round. Marner recorded only a single shot on goal and was a minus-1 with zero points during the 2-1 overtime loss in Game 7.

Marner, who was drafted fourth overall by the Maple Leafs in 2015, has 194 goals and 639 points in 576 games over his eight-season tenure in Toronto along with 11 goals and 50 points in 57 playoff games.

He is entering the final season of a six-year deal he signed in 2019 that includes a no-movement clause.

Signing Marner to an extension is “not on the table” according to Seravalli.

“Let’s take all the emotion out of it,” Seravalli said. “Let’s think about this as a pure asset-management play. You have a top-10 player or top-15 player in the league. You are not extending him, meaning one year from now it’s over.

“You’re not moving him at the deadline, so what sense would it possibly make for you to go into next season saying, ‘We’re just going to use the last year of his deal and let him walk for nothing.'”

Seravalli added that Brad Treliving talks to everyone and agreed with Bunkis that the Maple Leafs general manager will bring a list of teams to Marner to get a deal done.

“I do not believe that conversation has happened yet, but I believe that as you explain it, that would be the path to try and do it,” Seravalli said.

NHL teams will convene for the draft Friday in Las Vegas with free agency set to begin next Monday. Toronto holds the No. 23 pick in the first round.

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