NHL Rumor Update: The Latest on Marner, Gardiner & Zaitsev

With what is bound to be one of the busiest weeks in hockey for NHL GM's, we have done some digging and here is the latest on the three Maple Leafs topping the headlines.

On Gardiner, reports are out that the Jake's camp will be looking for north of 7 million dollars over 7 years in free agency. When you look at Gardiner's numbers, it is really hard to argue that valuation. While the Leafs have expressed interest in bringing back the offensive blueliner, many believe the price of poker is just too high to keep Jake in Toronto.

While mainstream media believe Vancouver is the likely destination for Jake, rumours have surfaced that Gardiner may indeed be heading to Chicago on July 1st.

The curious case of Mitch Marner will undoubtedly intensify this week. Leafs top brass have got to be feeling the pressure by now. Interesting comments recently from TSN's Bob McKenzie alluded to the fact that Marner knows his value and has set that price. He and his agent won't be interested in comparables as they believe Marner has comparable value to the Leafs to that of Auston Matthews.

Most people I talk to believe an offer sheet is unlikely in the Marner situation but still remains the leverage the Marner camp seems to want to use. If July 1st passes with no offer sheet, I would expect a deal to get done shortly there after.

With the trade market breaking open this past week, many have questioned why the Leafs have been so quiet. The casual fan seems to assume that the Marner situation is holding up the show. While there me be some validity to this theory, the more astute fan might surmise that the Zaitsev situation is the major stumbling block for the buds.

The Leafs have known for some time now, roughly what it is going to cost to retain the services of Mitch Marner. With Nikita Zaitsev requesting a trade however, the uncertainty surrounding the cap hit of returning pieces or even potentially retaining salary in a deal has left Leafs management handcuffed until said situation is ironed out.

Popular destinations for Zaitsev continue to be Vancouver and Edmonton with a deal likely at the draft.

Buckle up Leafs fans, this is going to be a very busy couple of weeks.

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