Toronto Maple Leafs: Kyle Dubas needs to set a deadline with Mitch Marner

Mitch Marner Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
Mitch Marner Auston Matthews Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

With Mitch Marner absent for the start of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Kyle Dubas has to take some action and take a strict stance with the negotiations.

There might not be a sense of panic yet with the Mitch Marner contract negotiations but Kyle Dubas needs to do what is best for the Toronto Maple Leafs and not let this continue to be an ongoing distraction.

He made that clear when he told members of the media that there will not be any further discussion about the situation until it reaches a final conclusion whether it’s Marner signing, sitting out or being traded. At some point, Dubas has to lay down a date for Marner to sign by and it shouldn’t be Dec. 1.

Granted, the team didn’t do that with William Nylander and Dubas acknowledged that it was a mistake and you know he doesn’t want to do it twice. At some point, there has to be pressure put on Marner to sign because he can’t drag this out for as long as he wants.

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Last season, the team had enough cap room to take on an elevated cap rate for Nylander who made it clear his desire was for a long-term deal. Marner won’t have that luxury because the Leafs are right up there against the cap and let’s be honest, based on the latest reported offer, the team is being more than fair.

All the insiders are saying the negotiations have been tense and personal which is tough to understand considering there isn’t much the Marner camp can say to change the Leafs minds when it comes to his value on the Leafs.

We have heard the talk about how Marner has been the leading scorer over the past couple of seasons and being put on the penalty made him more valuable in the eyes of some. Unfortunately, trying to see how Marner is comparable to Auston Matthews and John Tavares is a tough argument.

There is no debating that the Leafs value Marner’s role on the powerplay considering he led the team with 21 power-play points (and 70 at even strength over 82 games. In comparison, Matthews put up 20 power-play points in 68 games along with 53 at even strength.

Matthews played with two players who made the full-time jump to the NHL while Marner got the chance to play with two established players in Tavares and Zach Hyman. The team clearly put a lot more on Matthews’ shoulder especially at five-on-five which is where Matthews has a lot of value for Toronto.

This is not to suggest that Marner isn’t a valuable member of the team because he clearly is as a top point producer. You just have to wonder to what point Dubas is going to allow this situation to drag on.

He has to tell the Marner camp that if he wants to be with the Leafs for a long time then he should have taken the deal offered to him. There shouldn’t be too many compromises made for the Marner camp because there’s only so much the team can offer him that is in the best interest of the team.

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What are your thoughts on Marner being willing to stay away from training camp? Does Dubas need to draw a stricter line and provide a deadline? Let us know in the comments below.