Toronto Maple Leafs: Mitch Marner reported contract offer more than fair

Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates up ice with the puck as Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres defends during the third period at KeyBank Cente. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
Mitchell Marner #16 of the Toronto Maple Leafs skates up ice with the puck as Kyle Okposo #21 of the Buffalo Sabres defends during the third period at KeyBank Cente. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

The Toronto Maple Leafs reportedly offered Mitch Marner a long-term deal that he did not accept and frustrations are reaching a new level.

For the longest time, we have been waiting for an update of where the Toronto Maple Leafs and Mitch Marner are in their negotiations.

On Tuesday morning Darren Dreger tweeted that the Leafs offered Marner a seven-and eight-year deal that would have paid the winger $11 million a year back in June. Bob McKenzie would go on to add that the offer was rejected for a couple of reasons.

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According to the “Bobfather”, the main reason why Marner did not agree to the big payday was that it was not the same amount of money Auston Matthews got annually plus it was a longer deal. What this should tell everyone is that Marner’s camp is clearly saying a lot even though they aren’t actually going public with anything.

We all remember when Darren Ferris had some comments about how Marner did the Leafs a favour on his entry-level deal and how nobody else as taking a hometown discount.

The part that’s clearly getting missed in all of this is that the Leafs aren’t asking Marner to do them a favour with this deal, they truly believe that what they are offering is a fair deal. And when you think about it, the Leafs are being pretty fair with their offer when you think about it.

If Marner signed for $11 million, he would be tied with John Tavares as the fifth-highest paid forward in the NHL with only Connor McDavid, Artemi Panarin and Matthews ahead on the list. It is hard to see how Marner can tell management in a negotiation that he is worth more than the players on that list and counter with a deal that only gives the Leafs three years and he still gets $9 to $10 million as McKenzie reported. 

On OverDrive, Jeff O’Neil was clearly frustrated with Marner reportedly denying a deal that would pay him roughly $116 million Canadian when you figure in the exchange rate. There is certainly justification with ODog’s frustration because it is a lot of money and if that isn’t good enough for Marner what exactly is he looking for?

Bryan Hayes tried to provide some logic on behalf of Marner’s point-of-view because he thinks that with the Leafs giving William Nylander what he wants and not getting everything they would have wanted with Matthews deal.

At the same time, Hayes also argued that Marner isn’t deserving of $11 million over seven years and he is right. Why does Marner deserve to make more than Patrick Kane, Nikita Kucherov, Alex Ovechkin, Mark Stone and Leon Draisaitl? He really doesn’t.

If a team really thought Marner deserves that contract they would have signed him to an offer sheet. Apparently Columbus was thinking about it but weren’t willing to agree to Marner’s terms which should have been a signal to Marner’s camp that they are definitely overvaluing their position.

Unfortunately for the Leafs, they don’t have the other comparables in the restricted free agent like Brayden Point, Mikko Rantanen, Matthew Tkachuk or even Patrick Laine who would have been able to provide some clarity. If Point or Rantanen signed in the $9.5 to $10.5 million range this makes Marner’s demand even worse because they are certainly better comparables.

We are reaching a tough stretch here because a leak like this doesn’t look good on Marner and you bet his agent probably didn’t want this to get out. The reaction hasn’t looked favourable on Marner and if more details like this get out, it will be a tough PR battle for Marner when he does sign.

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What are your thoughts on the latest Marner rumour? Is this getting out hand yet or do you think we need to wait and see how it all plays out? Let us know in the comments below.