Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, who is tuned into the Leafs, reports that there is progress in the contract talks with Mitch Marner just as training camp opens in St. John’s, Newfoundland.
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
This sort of report is a strong and serious hint that the Leafs and Marner are absolutely trying to finalize a deal. This is not the kind of report that means they are simply exchanging phone calls.
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
Okay, so Dreger is saying here that Johnston scooped him.
Edited to add, this is fabulous:
It could be this or maybe that. All possibilities are possible.
One of the things that might be pushing both sides towards a deal is that the practices have started at training camp, and the Leafs are without John Tavares (on paternity leave), Zach Hyman (injured), Travis Dermott (injured) and Marner. The rosters for the camp teams look like this (shared on Twitter by Kristen Shilton):
It’s hard to find more than one and a half decent NHL lines in that mix. And the fastest way to improve it is to toss Mitch Marner in the mix.
So, with the first hint that this saga may end before training camp ends, it’s time to place out bets again and ask: How horrifying will this contract be? Or if you’re an optimist: How great will it be?
I rounded up the usual suspects here to get some new predictions on this, and I’ll start with mine, because it hasn’t changed since the last time we did this.
Katya: 3 years at $9.75 per year and done before the start of the season.
Hardev: 2 years at $9 per year and done by the end of the day.
Species: 3 years at $9.755 per year and signed the day before Matthews is named captain.
Brigstew: 7 years at $11 per year
Nafio: It’s going to be dumb and it’s going to be November
Fulemin: 3 years at $9.4
To me, my own opinion, the most logical contract for Marner which both sides could live with: 6 x $10.5 AAV.— Pierre LeBrun (@PierreVLeBrun) September 13, 2019
Your turn. Do you think this gets done before the season starts? And what’s the damage?