Maple Leafs Rumors: Insider Expects Mitch Marner To Test Free Agency Next Summer

With all the searing criticism of him floating around online, and trade rumors starting to gain steam, Mitch Marner has still stated that he wants to remain a Toronto Maple Leaf into the future. He'll be entering the final year of his contract next season with the potential to become an unrestricted free agent, and there are no extension talks being discussed at this time.

According to NHL insider Elliotte Friedman, we likely won't be seeing any extension talks anytime soon. 

I had some real interesting conversations about Marner. A couple of people reminded me that Darren Ferris, the agent, he likes to take people to UFA. And they said that based on that, he will say to Marner, 'You've earned your UFA status—wait for it.' Now, maybe that will change, maybe Marner will feel differently, but (Ferris's) base advice is usually that. 

Insider Nick Kypreos of Sportsnet says he thinks that the Leafs will discuss with Marner the idea of a trade this offseason. Marner does, it should be noted, own a full no-move clause, so he doesn't have to go anywhere if he's not inclined.

At the same time, with all of these possibilities being floated, Friedman warns that there will be a lot of posturing over the summer, and much of what we hear emanating from the Marner camp and the Leafs' camp will be just that—posturing to try to gain an upper hand in the narrative, whether it be around contract negotiations, or around trade talks with other teams. 

It's felt that Marner, who will be on an expiring $10.9 million dollar contract next year, will be seeking somewhere north of $12 million AAV on his next deal. It's safe to say that that is unlikely to come from Toronto.

Marner has averaged 1.11 points per game over his eight-year NHL career with the Leafs, including three 90+ point seasons.