With the usual caveat that nothing is done until it's done, it sounds like there's been some progress in contract talks between the #leafs and RFA Mitch Marner.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) September 13, 2019
As has been the case throughout this process, the Leafs and Marner’s agent, Darren Ferris continue to talk. Negotiation is now at a pivotal point. A deal could get done quickly (this week). However, if progress stalls it could drag into October.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 13, 2019
September 13, 2019
via James Mirtle, The Athletic: The three approximate offers I’m told the Leafs have had on the table at various points the past two months are three years at $8.75-million, six years at $10.5-million and seven years at $11-million a season. In order to highlight how waiting into the season will affect those deals, I calculated what the Year 1 cap hit would look like on all three contracts on Oct. 15, Nov. 1 and Dec. 1.
It’s not pretty.
Mike Babcock hinted on Thursday that Toronto may only be able to ice the minimum roster of 20 players at some point in the upcoming year, so we’ll go on that basis. If they pare their lineup down to the bone, once Hyman and Dermott are back, the Leafs have somewhere around $11.7-million in cap space.
Assuming they need to leave a couple hundred grand for AHL call-ups, the absolute max they could go to with Marner on a 2019-20 salary hit would likely be around $11.5-million.
That lineup, according to CapFriendly.com, is $240,000 under the cap.
Given how much Marner’s camp has focused on Matthews’ contract, I wonder if it’s just a coincidence that that figure is the absolute maximum the Leafs can currently accommodate?
Technically, this means the contract stalemate could continue deep into the season. There are ways the Leafs could fit in a bridge deal as late as Dec. 1, which is the final deadline to sign RFAs.
ANOTHER RFA SIGNS:
AAV expected to be just under $7M for Provorov.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 13, 2019
September 12, 2019
SIMMONS: Shanahan talks Marner, captain on way, evolving Leafs: “I like our leadership group,” said Shanahan. “I like that we have several different really good options. I’m not speaking out of school, I believe Mike (Babcock) and Kyle (Dubas) and I, we will have a captain this year. And I think we have several good options. Only one person is going to wear a ‘C,’ but you need lots of captains.
If Mitch Marner is serious about staying with the @MapleLeafs it’s going to be in his best interest to sign a new deal before the regular season begins.@reporterchris explains why here. ⬇️https://t.co/hsvuoUg5ZZ
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) September 12, 2019
While PHI and RFA D Ivan Provorov appear to be making some progress on a new contract, or at the very least talks have intensified over the last couple of days, the same cannnot be said for PHI RFA F Travis Konecny. PHI and Konecny are not close on a new deal.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 12, 2019
Meanwhile, talks between the Bruins and Charlie McAvoy have also picked up this week. There’s been progress there. Werenski’s deal has helped move things along. Still work to be done but it’s at least moving.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 12, 2019
Rantanen, Avs make some progress https://t.co/CmkGKtP5vr
— Adrian Dater (@adater) September 12, 2019
PHI and RFA D Ivan Provorov working hard today to try to finalize a contract. Three and six year deals both still on the table. Talks continue.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 12, 2019
— #JayAndDan (@JayAndDan) September 12, 2019
September 11, 2019
3 year ext is problematic for the Leafs because 3rd year could be as high as $12 mil. Marner could take the qualifying offer and walk into UFA market after 4th year. https://t.co/usIrOBE54D
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) September 11, 2019
These numbers help to illustrate why it is so difficult to see a path to a Mitch Marner contract settlement any time soon. https://t.co/bYvx3CP8x5
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 11, 2019
TOR has made seven and eight year offers in the $11M AAV universe but because it’s a lower AAV and longer term than Auston Matthews, it hasn’t been palatable to Marner.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 11, 2019
The logical solution would be a three-year bridge but because Marner wants an AAV in the $9M to $10M universe and the third year (base for QO) would be substantially higher, TOR has no incentive to do the bridge at those numbers. Hard to see the way to a settlement...
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 11, 2019
The desire to sign shorter term deals is strong among a lot of these high end RFAs so they can also be in a strong negotiating position come the third contract. The logic is there. But you can’t accuse the Leafs of not trying to get this done https://t.co/M7IaSOpCA8
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 11, 2019
September 10, 2019
To be CBA-compliant, a three-year bridge that gives Marner a $15,000,000 qualifying offer would have to have about a $10.55M AAV ($6.67, $10.00, $15.00). The current highest three-year AAV for an RFA forward in the cap era is $6.33M (Marian Gaborik) https://t.co/k8EmlPSd5p
— Jeff Veillette (@JeffVeillette) September 10, 2019
Elliott Friedman: 31 Thoughts: Tense RFA waiting game hits final stages
It is impossible to write or talk about Marner without offending someone, so here is my attempt at a bias-free take: It’s tense and personal. My belief is Toronto is willing to go to an $11-million AAV, but only if he signs for seven years. I’d heard both sides might agree to two years — then let arbitration sort it out — but a few sources threw cold water on that. I mentioned during a radio hit last week the rumour that Marner’s representatives pitched a three-year contract with a structure similar to the Meier/Werenski setup, with the third season as high as $15 million. However, I’m told that was several months ago and is no longer relevant, although both sides have continued to explore that kind of an option. I don’t sense things are anywhere close.
...on a 3-yr, $9M AAV Marner bridge with a $12M QO in Year 4, it could actually be a 4-yr, $39M ($9.75M AAV). On a 3-yr, $10M AAV with a $13M QO in Year 4, it could actually be a 4-yr, $43M ($10.75M AAV). Either way, MM is set up to walk into UFA in 4 years.
— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 9, 2019
Agent for a big name RFA : I am hearing of much more activity, your going to see movement this week, 1st pressure point of training camp is here.
No update on Brock Boeser talks but they should be picking up heat soon with training camp just 4 days away. #Canucks
— Rick Dhaliwal (@DhaliwalSports) September 9, 2019
First Major RFA Domino Falls
September 9, 2019
Werenski contract breakdown: $4M in Year 1, $4M in Year 2 and most notably $7M in Year 3.
— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 9, 2019
“Unless something changes, I believe his plan is to go to Switzerland in the 3rd week of this month” @DarrenDreger tells @heylandsberg and @dfeschuk the latest on Mitch Marner's contract negotiations with the Maple Leafs. ✈️🇨🇭@TSNHockey @TSN1050Radio pic.twitter.com/Q6NXPY11PB
— First Up (@FirstUp1050) September 9, 2019
September 7, 2019
Elliotte Friedman weighs in on RFAs and ideal contracts (Sportsnet 960)
Friedman provided his latest on the Marner situation on Sportsnet 960, reporting a three-year deal is on the table:
I think there is a three-year deal on the table right now, but the numbers… It’s not going to be 3×4 anymore for those guys. I think the problem with that situation is what the third year is because, for example, say it’s a three year deal and the third year is over $10 million. And then the player takes the qualifying offer and he walks right to unrestricted free agency. Why would teams want to do that?
On whether we’ll see multiple holdouts into the season:
Last year, there was one, and that was a team that wanted to win the Stanley Cup. If Toronto wasn’t a good team last year, they probably don’t sign him. But they were good. They had dreams. Look what happened — he had a nightmare year.
I think it is going to come down to, a) how much you think you need the player, and b) how worried are you about how that player is going to perform?
I had a couple of players tell me that the way Nylander played last year hurt those guys who might be willing to try the same thing this year. Teams are going to look at that and say, “Nylander is a really good player. He couldn’t catch up.”
LeBrun on Marner and thoughts on remaining RFAs (TSN1050)
Back from summer vacation, Pierre Lebrun provided his sense of where things stand in the Marner negotiation on Overdrive.
I have had a couple of teams tell me in the past couple of days that no team has worked harder this summer to get their guy done than the Toronto Maple Leafs. Some teams are doing the wait and see thing because they don’t want to go first. The Leafs have been all over the Marner camp.
On whether it’s term or money that is the sticking point with Marner:
80% of [the NHL’s RFAs] are stuck on term… If you want to talk about why teams are mad at Toronto, they hate the five-year precedent. They either want to go long or short, but not five.
I think the Marner one is not on term. The two sides have talked about a bunch of different years and both sides would do a three-year deal. But we know why they haven’t signed: They can’t agree on money.
On the Marner situation hanging over Kyle Dubas’ head:
This is more of a Kyle Dubas team than ever. Puck-moving D, offensive philosophy — all of those things, his blueprint is all over this. Once he gets Marner done, a lot of things open up for Kyle Dubas in terms of his vision for this team. Right now, it is a major hangup. If they start the season without him, it’s just going to be a gong-show, to be honest, given the market. There is no other way to put it.
On the narrative that the Leafs couldn’t get started on Marner until Nylander was done last summer:
One takeaway with Dubas today that caught my eye, and think of it what you will, and I am guilty as anyone else of pushing this narrative last year that the Leafs weren’t that interested in signing Marner last year because they wanted to get Nylander done first because of the domino effect. Dubas completely reset the narrative and said that is not true. The first meeting he took as Leafs GM in May 2018 was with Darren Ferris, Mitch Marner’s agent. Things worked out the way they did for whatever reason they did, but he wants to make it clear that narrative that has gained traction over time [is wrong]. They were interested. It just didn’t happen.
Chris Johnston on the latest (or lack thereof) with Marner (Sportsnet 590)
Chris Johnston joined Sportsnet Tonight to discuss the lack of progress in the Marner negotiations.
I do know there have been some conversations between the two sides. It’s not as though it’s radio silence between the two sides at this point. I would say that one of the reasons we haven’t heard too much is because I don’t think a lot has happened. It’s tough in these kinds of negotiations where clearly you have parties who know exactly where the other side stands. They’ve been having these discussions for over a year now about the possibility about an extension, but there hasn’t been a deadline. Now that we are into September, whether it’s the Marner situation or Tkachuk or Connor or the list of RFAs we talked about, the focus will be — can something get done to have these guys in camp?
Obviously, I would say just given the number of RFAs, they aren’t all going to be signed before September 12th, but I think that’s at least a little bit of a deadline that can push two sides together. We’ll see what the Leafs and Marner’s camp can come up with. I think this is a really important stretch of days. It doesn’t change anything if he misses the first day of camp and it doesn’t impact the Leafs’ salary cap troubles — there is no sort of tangible thing that is missed if he is not there — but the team doesn’t want that distraction. No one wants to go down the road that they went with William Nylander last year. It didn’t hurt them on the ice and they were still in a good position when he signed on December 1st, but it clearly hurt the player individually.
In a season now where we know the Leafs are clearly in win-now mode — and they lost a lot of players this offseason in part because of where they are at with the salary cap — there is a different urgency around this organization. I would expect you are going to see a concerted effort to get him signed and in camp by September 12th. If that doesn’t happen, all bets are off. We are then looking at the regular season. It is probably best for everyone if this gets done. I think you’ll start hearing about more of a push behind the scenes in the next week and a half here.
August 2, 2019
Mirtle: Where the Mitch Marner negotiations are at – and why they’re holding up so many other RFAs
The general consensus out there is the Marner camp has asked for the Matthews contract, which at five years and $11.634-million per season was unprecedented for an RFA deal. I do not believe that is going to happen.
There has been talk for ages now about the Leafs’ making a max-term offer, some time ago, at eight years and more than $10-million a season. Giving away that many UFA years, however, was a no-go for the Marner camp.
They apparently countered with three years at around a $10-million annual value, which would be the richest bridge deal in NHL history – by quite a bit. (Consider that Nikita Kucherov’s three-year bridge back in 2016 was for just under $4.8-million AAV.)
With the Marner camp uninterested in an eight-year deal, there are three term lengths the Leafs have commonly been working with in this process: A three-year deal, a six-year deal and a seven-year deal.
Ian Tulloch did some nice work back in May in finding the right historical comparables for Marner in this post here. He basically settled on Marner deserving something in the $9-million to $10-million range on a long-term deal and something in the $7.5-million range on a three-year bridge deal.
The problem with those numbers is the historical precedent is quickly becoming less and less relevant as young players sign bigger contracts. Marner’s camp simply has no intention of working off non-Matthews comparables here.
But it’s my understanding that the Leafs have been aggressive in trying to get this done to the point that they’re offering well north of all of those figures on the three-, six- and seven-year contracts. And by aggressive I mean in the range of just under $9-million to roughly $11-million per season, depending on the term.
The timing of when those offers were discussed is unclear. Both the Leafs front office and Marner’s representatives continue to decline comment on anything to do with these talks. But, if accurate, those numbers are a very clear sign that GM Kyle Dubas is prepared to go well beyond historical RFA norms to get Marner’s name on a contract before the season.
There’s a good news / bad news equation here with all this.
The good news is that I think this means Marner will get signed, at some point, and remain in Toronto.
The bad news is that he will get more than most of us anticipated and more than his comparables would dictate, making the Leafs’ already tight cap situation even tighter.