Should the Leafs plan for a year without Marner?

Yesterday I decided to float one of hastily thrown together thoughts on twitter:

My current hot take is that if Marner hasn’t agreed to a deal by July 1st the Leafs should be players in free agency for Karlsson or Skinner and make Marner wait for 2020-21
— Jon (@FatsSundin) April 30, 2019
To my surprise it wasn’t met with immediate disgust, and threats on my life so perhaps it is something that warrants at least a little exploration.
At this point let’s look at what we know to be true.
The Leafs have $68M committed to salary next season. That’s accounting for Nathan Horton being moved onto the Long Term Injured Reserve.
The salary cap is expected to be around $83M. Of course it could go in the Leafs favour and be $85M or we could see it lower as well, but $83M seems to be the number everyone is comfortable with.
In addition to Marner the Leafs need to sign Johnsson, Kapanen, and fill two more defense positions and one forward position. This is assuming that Justin Holl will be the only one sitting in the press box every night, and in reality there will probably be …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

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