Toronto Maple Leafs forward Mitch Marner warming up before an away game.
Photo credit: Sportsnet

Maple Leafs Mitch Marner Dilemma: Should Toronto Let Him Go, Trade Him, or Lock Him In Long-Term?

Published January 29, 2024 at 5:44 PM

Mitch Marner has been a key piece of the Toronto Maple Leafs since debuting in 2016. Now he is an impending free agent in 2025 and the Toronto Maple Leafs need to decide his future with the team.

Taking A Look At The Marner Extension Dilemma

Next season is scheduled to be Mitch Marner's last with the Toronto Maple Leafs. With Auston Matthews and William Nylander locked up the focus now shifts over to Marner.

In a perfect world, the Toronto Maple Leafs would love to have Mitch Marner back. He plays at a high level offensively while providing some solid defensive metrics as well. However, with the salary cap situation the Maple Leafs are in and the perception of Marner throughout the fan base, it might not actually be the best move.

Marner will likely be asking for a pay raise above what William Nylander recently got. If that is the case it would significantly hinder the Maple Leafs ability to add other players even if center John Tavares takes a pay cut. So the question then becomes what to do with Marner?

What To Do With Marner: Trade Him? Let Him Go? Lock Him In Long-Term?


With all of those layers to the situation laid out what should be the next course of action for the Maple Leafs?

Well as previously stated re-signing him would take some major cap magic. If he re-signs with a relatively similar cap hit to Nylander the Maple Leafs continue to rely on the core four and hope for the best.

If the Maple Leafs decide to trade Marner they would be limited in where they could send him. This is because Marner has a no-trade clause. If the team were to trade him he would need to approve. Also if he were traded the team acquiring Marner would likely only want to give up picks and prospects. This means the Maple Leafs would need to fill a top-six role with either young players or another addition.

The final option is the Maple Leafs just letting Marner walk. This likely could be the worst option. Marner is a world-class talent and letting him leave for nothing would feel like a failure. It would create a lot of room for the Maple Leafs to go make a move. However, in doing so they would likely need to give up a young player.

Of these options, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to choose one. Whichever decision they make could change the trajectory of the franchise for years to come. With that said what would you do? Trade him, let him go, or lock him in?
January 29   |   1319 answers
Maple Leafs Mitch Marner Dilemma: Should Toronto Let Him Go, Trade Him, or Lock Him In Long-Term?

What would you do with Mitch Marner?

Lock him in long-term69852.9 %
Trade him55942.4 %
Let him go624.7 %
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