Earlier today TSNs Bob McKenzie wondered if the Leafs would actually want to see Mitch Marner sign an offer, and I can’t say the thought hasn’t crossed my mind before.
As for Marner, my view from afar is that it’s probably close to or at the point where TOR hopes an offer sheet is tendered. That would allow/force closure, one way or the other. Match the offer sheet or take the compensation, but it would be done.
— Bobby Margarita (@TSNBobMcKenzie) July 15, 2019
The main issue I see with this route is the fallout between player, management and the fan base moving forward.
It has been said that after Shea Weber signed an offer sheet with the Philadelphia Flyers, when he was a member of the Nashville Predators, that even though the Predators matched the offer it was then a foregone conclusion that Weber wouldn’t be a Predator for life. They didn’t like the fact that he tried to sign elsewhere, and matching had more to do with retaining the asset than anything.
My question is this. Would management actually get on board with this? Also, ignore management, would the fans ever forgive Marner if he tried to sign elsewhere? Would his signature on an offer sheet mean the beginning of the end of his time in Toronto, given the fan bases ability to drive players out of the city?
It’s been said that even after he signs with the Leafs (assuming he does), the relationship will be in need of major repair because Marner is feeling hurt and undervalued by the team. I wonder how quickly he’ll opt to leave if he doesn’t feel valued by not only the team, but the fan base as well?
I think, for the sake of everybody, both the team and player need to find a way to get this done if Mitch actually does love being a Toronto Maple Leaf, and if he wants to remain here for the entirety of his career.
Here’s hoping for a positive ending, because Mitch Marner is a true star that makes this team better.