Luke Fox of Sportsnet: Think the Mitch Marner and the Toronto Maple Leafs will eventually sign a two- or three-year deal as they are too far apart on a long-term deal.
Most of the restricted free agent appear to be wanting more money but on less term.
The Edmonton Oilers are rumored to be interested in Patrick Marleau. There are some who think the Oilers need more veterans in the dressing room.
The best fits for Jake Gardiner could be with the Montreal Canadiens and Detroit Red Wings. Elliotte Friedman said that the Winnipeg Jets could be a possibility.
Brett Connolly signed with the Florida Panthers on July 1st. He thinks the interview period should be shorter and can’t imagine someone wanting to fly to each city to talk with teams in-person. He originally talked to 10-12 but it came down to three teams.
“It was overwhelming. It’s too long. I think it should be a week. It’s crazy. You’re talking to teams, you’re waiting. It’s just a slow process. For me, it was frustrating a bit. It’s all you think about nonstop. If they could shorten it up a bit, I think it would be better for the GMs, better for the players. It was definitely stressful,” Connolly explained.
Damien Cox of the Toronto Star: With training camp nearing, there is a good possibility that Mitch Marner won’t be at camp and that he could miss the start of the season.
It’s time for Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas to “imagine other possibilities” like not signing him and trading him.
To have a legit shot at the Cup, the Leafs need him in their lineup or use him to acquire assets to help them win. Having him sit out the season shouldn’t be an option.
If you are going to trade him, they would need to get two players that are under 27-years old that are under contract for at least two years. One of those players would need to be someone that could be a top-four defenseman for them. The other player would need to be a forward that could score 30 goals.
If Marner isn’t signed in the next six weeks, the Leafs need to start considing looking for a trade.
Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun: Mitch Marner is currently skating north of Toronto. His agent Darren Ferris has spoken Zurich and Marner could start skating with them if he’s still unsigned when training camp opens on September 12th. Marner could also start skating with the London Knights (OHL).
Gardiner still a possibility for the Maple Leafs?
Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star: (mailbag) If Mitch Marner signs a short-term deal at around $9 million, it’s still possible that the Maple Leafs could bring back free agent defenseman Jake Gardiner.
Gardiner would also have to take less than he may have been hoping for. Gardiner’s ‘injury’ has really hurt his leverage.