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Four Mitch Marner trades the Maple Leafs could consider

Even though people have gone crazy over the idea of ​​trading Mitch Marner, it’s essential to remember that there’s nothing easy about this type of trade.

First of all, let’s not bury the lede. Regardless of context, taking down a 95-point player who gets Selke votes and turned 27 a day after the Boston Bruins eliminated the Toronto Maple Leafs on Saturday night requires a gulp the size of a Greater Toronto Area from the club shipping it. .

There’s also the fact that the Leafs winger has a total no-move clause and that an agent, in the person of Darren Ferris, who Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman keeps reminding us of, tends to encourage his clients to use the trade protection negotiated on their behalf and ultimately guide them to the open market, which Marner can achieve in just under 14 months.

And, regardless of Marner’s value, the pieces have to line up. You can’t just walk into the Right Shot Defenseman store and say, “I’ve got a Mitch Marner to spend, give me a 25 year old RHD, best pair!”

Friedman also raised an important point about Kyper and Bourne Real Show Monday: Before the Leafs signed William Nylander to a mid-season extension, they were resolute in the idea that – if they went the trade route – it would only be for a clear win. Over time, we’ll trade you Nylander, but you’ll send us a player who brings equivalent value on the blue line.

But in Marner’s case — given all the caveats surrounding this potential deal — the relevant question Friedman asks is: Would Toronto be willing to lose a Marner deal?

That doesn’t mean exactly what it looks like because, of course, it doesn’t. No team is looking to lose rallies. But the immediate prospects of a deal with Marner are unlikely to cause Blue and White supporters to turn around. That certainly won’t be the case for defenseman Mitch Marner or the six-foot-three version of Marner up front, as it’s very unlikely that another team would be willing to move that player.

It might cost four quarters to the dollar. This could involve draft picks that can be reversed later. More importantly, it could be freeing up cap space to try to sign potential UFA defenders like Chris Tanev, Brandon Montour or Brett Pesce.

So, with all that in mind – and with the help of Sportsnet.ca Editor-in-Chief Josh Beneteau – let’s take a deep breath and prepare some Marner trade proposals.

(Also, since Marner would have to approve any trade, let’s assume he would also sign an extension with his new team).

The Columbus Blue Jackets obtain: R.W. Mitch Marner
The Toronto Maple Leafs get: 2024 fourth overall pick, C/W Kent Johnson

Why the Leafs are doing it: You probably free up over $9.5 million in cap space that you could immediately flip and throw at the blue line. Free up a little more space and you might be able to try your luck on two shots on the right, Ontario’s Tanev and Montour.

Johnson is an RFA who seems very much in line for a short stint contract. He has a lot of skills, but things didn’t go well in Ohio for the 21-year-old.

The Leafs could hold up the fourth pick for an immediate return or pick a defenseman in this defense-rich draft who won’t help them right now, but could be a major piece from 2026 to 2040.

Why the Blue Jackets are doing it: First of all, if Mark Hunter is named Columbus’ new general manager in the near future, prepare for this to become a full-blown rumor. Hunter, of course, was with the OHL’s London Knights when Marner landed there as a major junior and guided the Leafs to Marner when the former was in Toronto’s front office in 2015 and the latter was available – wait for it – fourth overall. .

The Jackets could sit back and select a top prospect at fourth overall, perhaps Knights defenseman Sam Dickinson. But this franchise – unlike others at the top of the board – had no intention of reaching such a height in 2024. Columbus – which has had no shortage of bad press following the fiasco of hired Mike Babcock last summer and ended up firing the longtime general manager. Jarmo Kekalainen in season – wants to improve yesterday, as indicated by the big moves he made last year at this time to land defenders Damon Severson and Ivan Provorov.

Marner would be a huge addition to the forward group for a team that doesn’t really need another top prospect thanks to the presence of center Adam Fantilli and right-handed defenseman David Jiricek.

Columbus also isn’t the type of team that’s going to be scared off by Marner’s perceived shortcomings in the playoffs. The Jackets just want to make the playoffs; how everyone does once they get in is a question for tomorrow.

The Seattle Kraken obtains: R.W. Mitch Marner
The Toronto Maple Leafs get: C Shane Wright, D Adam Larsson

Why Toronto is doing it: Larsson is a tall, right-handed defender who logs significant minutes. He turns 32 in November and is eligible to become a UFA after next season, so you’re definitely hoping to extend him three years beyond that.

Wright has been there. The Toronto-area kid was projected to go No. 1 in the 2022 draft years before the event, then fell to No. 4 on draft day. Its development has been hampered by pandemics, trades, twists and turns between leagues, etc. But last year he spent more or less the entire winter in the AHL and looked good when he joined Seattle for the final days of the schedule and scored four goals in five. Games. It certainly appears that the right-hander has a future as a reliable 2C and he has signed an entry-level contract for the next two seasons.

Why the Kraken does it: They already fired a coach, so Seattle obviously wants more. This team has a framework in place, but lacks high-end talent. Marner adds a serious dose.

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The Calgary Flames get: RW Mitch Marner, C Fraser Minten, LW Nick Robertson, D Timothy Liljegren
The Toronto Maple Leafs get: G Jacob Markstrom*, D Rasmus Andersson
*Flames retain 25 percent of Markstrom’s remaining salary

Why the Leafs are doing it: Both Markstrom and Andersson are under contract for two more seasons. You add a goaltender who had excellent underlying numbers last year – albeit at 34 years old – and a right-handed defenseman who plays big minutes. While Calgary retains some Markstrom, it’s essentially a wash cap and you add big pieces in two areas of need.

Minten is a quality prospect, but the emergence of 2023 first-rounder Easton Cowan and the presence of youngster Matthew Knies gives you enough next-gen guys up front.

Why the Flames are doing it: Every trade Calgary has made over the past 12 months indicates the club isn’t interested in a crumbling rebuild. Marner has three seasons left in his 20s, so he’s a guy who helps now and later.

Liljegren is no Andersson, but he is a straight shooter who can slot into the bottom pair and try to write a new chapter in his career despite just turning 25 years old. Robertson has shown scoring potential and Minten is plug-and-play. -playing prospect who, at worst, will be a fantastic third-line center and leader.

Both Robertson and Liljegren are RFAs this summer and both should be relatively no-nonsense signs.

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The Philadelphia Flyers get: R.W. Mitch Marner
The Toronto Maple Leafs get: C Scott Laughton, D Mario Ferraro, San Jose’s 2024 second-round pick
The San Jose Sharks get: D Oliver Bonk

Why the Leafs are doing it: Laughton’s name was known before the deadline, but only if someone blew Philly away with an offer. That’s because he’s a tough center to play against who could set up as a great 3C or play both holes — especially if one of his wingers was as talented as fellow Oakville native John Tavares , or his stallion William Nylander. Laughton turns 30 this summer and will be $3 million against the cap for two more seasons. Ferraro, meanwhile, is a 25-year-old southpaw who represents roughly the same number, also for two more years. You could probably add these guys and continue to take a chance on Tanev or flip San Jose’s second-rounder — who would be the 33rd overall pick in the draft — for help in goal or on the blue line.

Why the Flyers are doing it: Philly is taking forward-looking steps while reconciling the fact that it came so close to making the playoffs this year. Even though general manager Daniel Brière remains committed to long-term solutions, do you see them returning next September with lottery aspirations? Marner, at 27, is just young enough for you to send such an important package to a difference maker who can help you for the next decade.

Bottom line: Philly covets more skills.

Moving Bonk would hurt, but the Flyers still hold the 12th pick in the upcoming draft, which is loaded with quality D-men.

Also, Marner and John Tortorella on the same bench? Yes please.

Why the Sharks are doing it: On one hand, after securing the right to draft Macklin Celebrini, you could see San Jose’s desire to keep young, quality bodies like Ferraro. Still, you might as well lean in and go for the upside of Bonk, a lanky right-hander who could end up anchoring your first or second pair for a long time.