MILTON, Ont. — Morgan Rielly would have liked nothing more than to tee off with Mitch Marner at the Toronto Maple Leafs’ annual golf tournament.
After going through William Nylander’s contract impasse last season, however, the star defenceman has had plenty of practice answering questions about an absent teammate.
As expected, Marner was a no-show for Wednesday’s charity event as his representatives continue to negotiate terms of a new deal with Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas.
“That’s not within our control as players,” Rielly said Wednesday afternoon of Marner’s status on the eve of training camp. “We talk to Mitch and we obviously want him here. He’s a big part of our group and he’s a great teammate. We want him in the mix, but there’s only really so much you can do as a player.
“You’ve got to get ready, you’ve got to worry about your own game.”
The Leafs will undergo fitness testing Thursday before flying east for training camp in St. John’s, N.L.
“I’m just excited to get going,” Rielly said.
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Joshua Clipperton, The Canadian Press