Leafs day after thoughts: What’s wrong with Mitch Marner?

Mitch Marner has one assist through three games with the Toronto Maple Leafs. And for some reason, a lot of people are complaining about it. I don’t understand it.
The 24-year-old hasn’t produced in two of his first three games. So what?
A lot of fans are expecting Marner to be the best player on the ice. Sometimes he is, sometimes he isn’t. But you have to remember who he’s playing with right now. Nick Ritchie is without a point through the first three games, and John Tavares has two assists.
We’ve seen Marner get the chances.

Only a matter of time until marner pops what a chance pic.twitter.com/boCR665bq9
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) October 17, 2021

In the clip above, he gets robbed by Anton Forsberg, who’s starting this season with a .935 save percentage. His career save percentage in the NHL is .904. So it’s safe to say he’s off to a fiery start.

Marner is having a game, Tavares couldn’t finish. pic.twitter.com/uO023sC6Yv
— Ah yes, the Leafs. (@LeafsAllDayy) October 17, 2021

In the clip above, Marner gets it over to Tavares, who also can’t beat …

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Author: Nick Barden / The Leafs Nation

Opinion: Let’s dial back the hostility

On Thursday night, Mitch Marner made the following comments to Sportsnet’s Luke Fox regarding the possibility of the Leafs playing all their games in the United States this season:

Or at least, based on the backlash Marner faced in the comments, that’s what you could have sworn he said. Instead, he actually said this:

The quote came as Marner was doing interviews in the lead up to hosting a stream-a-thon for the Marner Assist Fund in support of families with food insecurities. In summary, Marner said that regardless of where the Leafs play he just wants to be around his family and if it comes to not being able to play in Toronto/Canada this season he just hopes it’s somewhere warm. That’s it. That’s the quote.
“Marner” trended for hours in the immediate aftermath of Fox’s tweet, largely driven by (a) the outlandishly negative response and (b) people coming to his aid. This outrage over something so innocuous speaks to the shocking erosion of the relationship between Leafs fans and Marner, much of it self-inflicted by the Marner camp during a contentious and public contract negotiation in summer 2019. Many fans clearly still feel …

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Author: Mark Norman / The Leafs Nation

NHL 20 predicts the rest of Mitch Marner’s career

Mitch Marner has had quite the rough start to the 2020 offseason when it comes to speculation regarding his future. There’s quite a lot of differing opinions circulating around, referring back to his contract negotiations, the subsequent season that followed, and what lies ahead for him in Toronto. In fact, two of my TLN colleagues have written pieces on the subject, which you can check out here and here.
While I could give you my take on Marner’s 2019-20 campaign, I decided to take a different approach. Rather than make some bold predictions that could one day end up on @OldTakesExposed, why not use a video game to give a rough idea of how the remainder of his career will turn out.
Inspired by my good friend Matthew Rodrigopulle, who wrote an excellent piece in a similar style on Nick Robertson, today I am going to simulate Marner’s career in NHL 20!
Before we begin, let me cover some ground rules that I will be following.
I am going to make sure I do not control the Leafs roster at all during this simulation in an effort to keep things fair. Prior to starting, I randomly …

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Author: Michael Mazzei / The Leafs Nation

Mitch Marner nominated for King Clancy Memorial Trophy

It might not be the Selke Award he was going for, but Mitch Marner has the potential to take home some hardware this offseason:

A leader on and off the ice.
Congratulations to @Marner93 on being nominated for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy!#LeafsForever pic.twitter.com/KngeUkI6oK
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) July 27, 2020

On the award:
King Clancy Memorial Trophy
Description: First awarded in 1987-88, the King Clancy Memorial Trophy is presented annually “to the player who best exemplifies leadership qualities on and off the ice and has made a noteworthy humanitarian contribution in his community.”
Voting: Each NHL team submits a nominee for the King Clancy Memorial Trophy. The three finalists and ultimate winner are selected by a committee of senior NHL executives led by Commissioner Gary Bettman and Deputy Commissioner Bill Daly.
The selection committee applies the following criteria in determining the finalists and winner of the award:
* Clear and measurable positive impact on the community
* Investment of time and resources
* Commitment to a particular cause or community
* Commitment to the League’s community initiatives
* Creativity of programming
* Use of influence; engagement of others
Marner has been one of the most involved Leafs …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Leafs are dangerously close to being healthy and what that means for your favourite fringe NHLer

Keefe liked the look of Marner at practice today:
“Based on his performance, doesn’t look like it’s too far away”
Dubas said the hope is Mitch will return “in coming days”
Eligible to come off IR on Wednesday (v COL) … the next game is Saturday (@ STL)
— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) December 2, 2019
Over the past five games the Leafs have successfully started making a case for their playoff chances and if that wasn’t impressive enough, they did that without the help of Mitchell Marner (Mitch for short.)
The return of Mitch Marner can only be viewed as good news, unless you are one of the players barely hanging onto a roster spot. We’ve been down this road before. When Hyman, Tavares, and Dermott were all returning the Leafs had to consider what their roster would look like with 19 skaters and 2 goaltenders, and a final decision was avoided at that time largely because of the Marner injury.
We received a small preview of what the decision would be as Martin Marincin and Nic Petan were both waived and sent down. Both would return, and Marincin has been sent down once more before he required waivers again. Nic Petan has …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

How Mitch Marner’s Contract Makes the Marlies Even Scarier

The Mitch Marner saga is over. And with that, we can finally focus on hockey again. Hallelujah.
Upon learning of Marner’s extension, I’m going to guess that you didn’t immediately begin to pine over its potential impact on the Toronto Marlies. Some of you might have done this, of course. Just, not the majority.
Regardless, every move — especially those of Marner’s magnitude — carries a trickle-down effect. Where this one trickles down to, among other places is the Marlies.

The nearly-11 million-dollar-sized chunk Marner’s extension took out of the Leafs’ overall cap sheet was foreseen long before it happened. And that chunk will indeed be as large as advertised, at least for the short-term. Adding $10.893 million to an already capped-out lineup now forces the Maple Leafs into entering this season with a 20- or 21-man roster opposed to their typical 23-man outfit from years past. Three different $10 million+ contracts will do that to you, I guess. Sacrifices must be made.
Still, this is not an insignificant restriction. A 21-man roster (and that’s the generous estimate) means two fewer press-box spares; two fewer press-box spares mean two fewer NHL job openings; two fewer NHL job openings …

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Author: Mike Stephens / The Leafs Nation

Darren Ferris is doing damage control now

Mitch Marner has signed his contract and, barring injury, will be with the Toronto Maple Leafs to start the season. That doesn’t mean that this whole saga is over. Even though we have a player under contract long-term and games on the horizon, there’s still going to be plenty of conversation around everything that transpired over the past few months.

Marner’s agent, Darren Ferris, probably even more so than Marner himself, has really been the face of this contract saga. Ferris’ “Playbook” relies a lot on floating narratives into the mainstream media. Things like Marner speaking to other teams on July 1 and considering playing overseas in Switzerland were a couple of Ferris tactics to generate panic that the restricted free agent had considerable leverage in contract negotiations.
Even though pen has been put to paper and Marner has his money, Ferris’ job isn’t over. There’s a damage control left to be done on behalf of his client after what was a messy, frustrating, and emotionally-draining summer full of public negotiations. While Ferris’ tactics likely helped Marner in securing more cash, it came at the cost of losing admiration from much of the fanbase.
Today on …

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Author: Cam Lewis / The Leafs Nation

Mitch Marner and his Primary Assist Magic

You may have heard by now that Mitch Marner remains unsigned by the Toronto Maple Leafs as we begin to approach the opening of training camps for the 2019-20 NHL season. There seems to be a gap between how the Marner camp views his value compared to how the Leafs think he should be paid. Marner put up fantastic numbers last year, picking up 94 points and finishing 4th in the NHL with 68 assists. His results were even more impressive at 5v5, where Marner led the NHL in primary assists with 36, five more than Sidney Crosby. Unlike secondary assists, which are mostly luck, primary points are an important, repeatable skill, so Marner putting up the best total in the NHL at 5v5 is quite an accomplishment.
This would seem to set the stage for Marner to get a huge payday. After all, if he can put up the highest rate of primary assists in the NHL then he has a very strong claim to a big salary. However, if you dig into the numbers a bit more deeply, I think there are reasons to be concerned that Marner isn’t going to be able to replicate his fantastic result next season.

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Author: Drag Like Pull / The Leafs Nation

How many bridges has Marner potentially burned?

Does anybody even like Marner anymore? Like Red Bull tastes bad now because I associate it with this negotiation. I’m probably gonna have to change my insurance provider.
— Todd (@Totally_Offside) September 10, 2019
I’m willing to bet there’s a little hyperbole from ol’ Todd in this tweet, but nevertheless, here I am pondering its meaning.
Up until recently Mitch Marner was the happy go lucky, goofy hockey loving kid who has been adopted by Matt Martin then had his custody transferred to Patrick Marleau. He’s got the high energy smile off the ice, and the equally fun playing style on the ice. And he was a local kid to boot. What wasn’t to love about Mitch Marner?
Well…there have always been plenty of tales of highly involved father dating back to a CBC story on hockey parents that cast him in unappealing light.

It’s been speculated that he’s highly involved in the contract/financial goings on of Mitch, and that he might be the driving force behind some of the decisions we don’t agree with.
That doesn’t really change that the situation is one of Mitch Marner’s making and while …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation

The Case for Bridging Marner

Folks… What can I say, this Mitch Marner fellow is something else. How about those contract demands? Amirite? Shiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiiit.
Anyway, I’m sorry to say that we are (I am) back on our bullshit, and we’re going to look at bringing the kid back in the short term, at a reduced rate. An idea which carries both benefits, and challenges, so let’s do a good old fashioned SWOT Analysis of the idea of bridging Mitch Marner for three years.
Likely to produce the best possible cap hit
Gives the Leafs the opportunity to compensate Marner in three years when guessing potential isn’t in the equation anymore
Presently only have 5 players under contract in 2022-23 and can plan on keeping space available to accommodate a larger cap hit.
Blogs will have lazy summer content ideas again in three years
Eventually you’ll end up paying him or losing him
Would be negotiating with Kapanen, Rielly, and Marner in the same off-season
Potentially devalues Marner’s place on the team compared to other stars
Mitch may not have enough money to buy Paul Marner the solid gold suit he has his eyes on.
The biggest benefit …

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Author: Jon Steitzer / The Leafs Nation