Mitch Marner is awesome. He plays very well in space, creates space, and finds open players at an elite level. He competes hard on the back-check, is a good penalty killer, and has a very high IQ for the game. I really like Mitch Marner. I could just end my blog here with a rant about how we should keep him at all costs and Dubas needs to break the bank to sign him. But I'm not going to do that. I've been a Leaf fan for a long time, and I plan on being a Leaf fan for the rest of my life, so the team comes first. The franchise comes first. The logo comes first. Period.
Marner is not worth 11 million dollars. Marner pre-Tavares is a 61 point player. Post-Tavares he's a 94 point player. Tavares pre-Marner is a 84 point player, who had a career high 86 points in 2014, and Tavares was an 88 point player with Marner. The difference here is very noteworthy. Marner was +33 points playing with Tavares. Tavares was +4 points playing with Marner. Taking into account the history of Tavares and how he has bumped his winger stats substantially on multiple occasions, it's quite clear that Tavares drove this line, and that Tavares is giving Marner his payday.
Take the rumour about Montreal offer-sheating Marner. So Marner is going to play with Kotkaniemi, who had 34 points last year, and this is going to allow Marner to be a 90-100 point player? Yeah probably not.
Marner has all the rights in the world to attempt to negotiate the best deal he can, but the numbers being thrown around are absurd, and the Leafs pay 11 and 11.5 to two centers that drive play and score WAY more goals than Marner, so it fits into the natural price point that Marner would earn significantly less than both Matthews and Tavares.
If Marner really does hold out in an attempt to get the Leafs to pay him a salary he's not worth, then trading him for adequate value becomes a very realistic option in order for Dubas to properly manage both his assets, and his cap. I hope Marner figures this out sooner...rather than later...or he will be wearing a different jersey when the season starts.
Marner has a chip on his shoulder, and this has been a factor in him becoming as good as he is, but it's about to become a factor in him not playing for the team he really does want to play for. The Leafs.
I trust Dubas to make the right business decision. I hope Marner puts himself in that conversation.