On Thursday, Kyle Dubas was on Tim & Sid and spoke about the the Mitch Marner negotiations. The part that has been getting all of the attention was Kyle saying “I’ll try to get as creative as we possibly can to try to get it across the finish line.”
You might be wondering: “what exactly does he mean by getting creative?” like I did, initially. I mean, using signing bonuses like he has with pretty much every major contract is neat and all, but that’s not creative anymore so much as it’s standard operating procedure to use their wealth as an advantage.
They could also do what San Jose did with Meier, and structure the contract so at the end of it, Marner is making $12.5 million in the season so his qualifying offer would have to be as high or higher on his next deal. But that’s a bit of a known strategy too.
I think Kyle means something else. Something... bigger. To get an idea of what Kyle’s planning, I think it’s worth pointing out what else was going on in Toronto this week. That forms the basis of my theory.
[Scene cuts to a dark street somewhere in the GTA as a lone, black commercial van quietly pulls to a stop against the curb]
Kawhi: Alright, the plan worked. Sending the MLSE jet to San Diego has everyone looking that way thinking I was on it. Now for phase two. You boys ready?
Matthews: Ready as we’ll ever be, Mr. Leonard.
Nylander: Anything for Mitch.
Tavares, shaking his head and muttering to himself: I won’t go back to having Moulson and Lee as my wingers. I WON’T DO IT!
Ibaka: Good. Now it’s time to cook up something serious. Our intel says that your friend is being held in there by Darren Ferris and his henchmen. We estimate there are 30, maybe 40 of them. But every night around 2:37 in the morning, Ferris leaves to meet with Dreger in an abandoned parking lot to exchange information. Ferris takes half of his henchmen with him, so it’s the perfect time for us to strike.
Siakam, looking at his watch as it beeps: C'est à l'heure. ALLEZ! ALLEZ! ALLEZ!
[Siakam slides open the door and they all pour out of the van. After only a few seconds they’re all flooded with light coming from a helicopter]
Ibaka: Merde, voilà l'hélicoptère CP24. Ferris a dû les acheter!
Siakam: Voyons Serge, je t'ai dit de ne pas porter de tels vêtements colorés! Ils l'a fait trop facile pour eux de nous trouvés.
CP24 Chopper: Six men have exited the MLSE utility van, they appear to be wearing New Balance spygear. One of them has a towel over his head.
Matthews: A towel? New Balance? This is a $9,000 bandana from Gucci!
Kawhi: Nevermind that, just go!
[Scene cuts to a dark room, with Mitch Marner strapped to a chair. His eyes are held open with hooks, as he is forced to stare at a screen. The video being played cuts quickly between pictures of Dubas, McDavid and Matthews with distorted, demonic faces. Sharp, screeching violins mixed with the hissing of rattlesnakes blare from surround speakers all around Marner’s head.]
Mitch: Please... stop... I don’t want to hate them.
Paul: But you must hate them. They are the enemy! They are standing between you and your rightful place as the best hockey player to ever live. For that, they must be destroyed!
[The door to the room bursts open, and filling the room with sudden light except for the dark profile of a giant man]
Kawhi: Found you, Mitch.
Paul: What do you think you are doing!
Kawhi: Saving this boy from your brainwashing!
[Kawhi levels a shotgun and shoots Paul Marner, who jerks to the side from the force of the shot but stays on his feet. He turns back towards Kawhi with an ominous laugh. Kawhi looks at the area he shot and sees the glint of metal]
Kawhi: Oh my god, you’re a bot!
Paul: That’s right, fool. There isn’t room enough in Toronto for two star athletes, and Mitch has been raised since birth to take over the city. It is his destiny!
[Paul Marner launches himself towards Kawhi with lightning quickness, and punches him in the head with a robotic-powered blow, throwing Kawhi back into the wall with a hard crash. To Paul’s dismay, Kawhi quickly stands up and brushes himself off.]
Paul: No, that’s impossible. No mere human could survive a punch like that!
Kawhi, pointing his arm at Paul Marner as it crackles with lightning: I left ‘human’ behind centuries ago.
[The lightning from Kawhi’s arm lances through Paul Marner and disintegrates him into dust. At the click of a remote, the scene is paused]
Dubas: Well, what do you think?
Mitch: Wow. Dreamworks is really on board with it?
Dubas: Yup, I have the contract right here — a 5 movie deal, guaranteed, to start the next big franchise to rival Marvel and Harry Potter. You’ll make more money starring next to Kawhi than you ever could playing hockey or getting sports endorsements. This will make you a star beyond sports in Canada, you’ll be famous around the world.
Mitch: How did you ever get them to agree to it?
Dubas: We called in every favour we have as a company among our sponsors to partially fund it. One company in particular pitched in over half of what we needed.
Mitch: Wow that’s amazing. What will the movies be called?
[Kawhi, sitting silently the entire time, reaches down to the floor next to his chair and tosses something towards Mitch. Mitch catches it and examines the smartphone in his hand]
Kawhi, smiling: Apple Time.
ONTO THE LINKS
Let’s Talk Ourselves Into Cody Ceci! | good job, good effort by Fulemin
As Mitch Marner offer sheet rumours abound, the Toronto Maple Leafs are well situated to handle whatever comes their way | by Alec Brownscombe at MLHS
Free agency becomes efficient, the after effects of signing an offer sheet, Sutter’s role | by Eric Duhatschek at The Athletic