As the days go by, we gain a bit more information about the negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and reluctant-to-sign, restricted free agent (RFA) Mitch Marner. In this post, I will share some of that new information (according to the rumors), update what happened last weekend at the World Junior Showcase at Plymouth, Michigan, and offer a note from Fantasy Hockey.
Item One: Mitch Marner Was Given Three Offers
Specifically, as reported on Twitter by “Inside The Neutral Zone” Hockey, the Maple Leafs have made three offers to Marner and his agents.
The first offer was for three years at $8.75 million AAV. The second offer was for six years at $10 million AAV. And, finally, the third offer was for seven years at $10.75 million AAV. If the rumors surrounding the three-year offer are accurate, that amount of money represents the most lucrative bridge deal ever offered in the NHL.
As I reported in my recent post when I wrote about the difficulty Marner and Dubas
If Marner signed a five-year deal, then Matthews, Nylander, and Marner would all become UFAs during the same offseason. That would be a disaster for the team. That’s why Dubas offered three years, six years, and seven years.
Item Two: Fantasy Hockey Names the Maple Leafs as Second-Best Power-Play Unit
The addition of Tyson Barrie from the Colorado Avalanche (with Alexander Kerfoot) for long-time Maple Leafs center Nazem Kadri hasn’t changed anything on the ice – yet. However, those who are interested in Fantasy Hockey have noticed the addition of Barrie to the Maple Leafs lineup.
Late last week, NHL.com’s Fantasy Hockey site named the Maple Leafs as having the second-best power-play unit for the 2019-20 season. Who came in first? The Maple Leafs current archrival, the Boston Bruins. The Fantasy Hockey site noted that the Bruins’ first group of Brad Marchand, Patrice Bergeron, David Pastrnak, Torey Krug, and Jake DeBrusk was the top power-play unit.
The site named the first unit of the Maple Leafs (Auston Matthews, Marner, John Tavares, Morgan Rielly, and Barrie) as second-best in the NHL. Interestingly, the site seems to have no doubts that Marner will sign and be with the team when the season begins. Do they know something the rest of us don’t?
Item Three: Maple
Leafs Want Marner, Regardless of the Price
As everyone who follows the Maple Leafs knows, the team is eager to get Marner’s contract done. The Sporting News’ writer Sammi Silber reports that, although the specific numbers of the contract’s value and the term are unclear at the moment, Maple Leafs management believes that the 22-
Item Four: Dubas on Maple Leafs Prospects Robertson and Kokkonen
Speaking of Maple Leafs general manager Dubas, he was interviewed on TSN during the World Junior Showcase this past weekend and, among other topics, he shared his insights about prospects Nick Robertson and Mikko Kokkonen.
Robertson’s play for Team USA was little short of a standout. He scored a beautiful goal against Team Sweden, where he picked the pocket of the Swedish defenseman and went in on goal alone, dangled, and stuffed in a back-hand.
Dubas noted that the team is excited about Robertson and the solid week he put up at the Showcase. Specifically, “We’ve very proud of him and happy about the way that he has played. His focus and
Obviously, Robertson is also scoring points with Dubas because he’s moved to Toronto to work out with Gary Roberts at his facility and Dubas has regularly seen him taking advantage of the different instructors who are there.
Dubas likes his hockey passion and notes that Robertson is “a very skilled player” who “fits the profile of what we are looking for and trying to do.” Dubas noted that Robertson not only made Team USA’s cut but was playing in their top six. He hopes that the young draft pick will “continue to carry it on through the rest of the summer and then into Peterborough for the OHL regular season.”
About Mikko Kokkonen, Dubas noted that, although he’s played at the Showcase, he’s a “little bit dinged up.” That said, Maple Leafs scouts had watched Kokkonen play prior to the Showcase against the Czechs and the Swiss and were “very, very positive about the way that he was playing.” Dubas was sure Kokkonen would use the rest he’s had to ensure he was healthy and ready to start the regular season in the Finnish league.
Item Five: What the Rest of Canada Thinks of the Maple Leafs Problems
I came across this menu from a Pub in Sooke, on Vancouver Island. It says lots about what others think of the Maple Leafs problems.
A Quebec classic! Crispy Fried & cheese curds, smothered in gravy
Maple Leafs Poutine
In usual Leafs fashion, a cold, overpriced dish served with underperforming gravy, ice-cold fries and a side of disappointment.
The $67 appetizer is a reminder to fans that the last time the Maple Leafs won the Stanley Cup was in 1967. The owner of Sooke’s 17 Mile House Pub is a die-hard Montreal Canadiens fan.
I no longer wake up looking to see if there’s news about Marner’s signing, but I know it has to happen (I think) one day soon. The preseason and regular season will soon be upon both the team and Maple Leafs fans. It would be nice to know what the final roster will look like.
The Old Prof (Jim Parsons, Sr.) taught for more than 40 years in the Faculty of Education at the University of Alberta. He’s a Canadian boy, who has two degrees from the University of Kentucky and a doctorate from the University of Texas. He is now retired on Vancouver Island, where he lives with his family. His hobbies include playing with his hockey cards and simply being a sports fan – hockey, the Toronto Raptors, and CFL football (thinks Ricky Ray personifies how a professional athlete should act).
If you wonder why he doesn’t use his real name, it’s because his son – who’s also Jim Parsons – wrote for The Hockey Writers first and asked Jim Sr. to use another name so readers wouldn’t confuse their work.
Because Jim Sr. had worked in China, he adopted the Mandarin word for teacher (老師). The first character lǎo (老) means “old,” and the second character shī (師) means “teacher.” The literal translation of lǎoshī is “old teacher.” That became his pen name. Today, other than writing for The Hockey Writers, he teaches graduate students research design at several Canadian universities.
He looks forward to sharing his insights about the Toronto Maple Leafs and about how sports engages life more fully. His Twitter address is https://twitter.com/TheOldProf