Maple Leafs Rumors: Insider Links Mitch Marner to Trade For Star Goalie

The Toronto Maple Leafs will be one of the key teams to watch this offseason, as the end of the so-called 'Core Four' era appears to be at hand. Insiders (and outsiders) everywhere are speculating on the future of star playmaking forward Mitch Marner. 

The latest offering comes from David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period, who suggests that Marner, entering the final year of his $10.9 million AAV contract, CAN be talked into waiving his no-move clause for a trade this summer. 

I have a hard time believing John Taveras will waive his no movement clause, but I'm not convinced that is the same case for Marner. Speaking with those close to his camp, the belief is he would, and should, consider alternative options if the Leafs seek a trade. 

And no, the Leafs are not going to move him for a package surrounded by future assets. If they go down this road, and teams have already poked around, it's a talent for talent swap. 

Which brings us to Pagnotta's blockbuster suggestion, which is a trade centered around Mitch Marner for Juuse Saros of the Nashville Predators. 

The Leafs are obviously concerned about their goaltending situation. Ilya Samsonov is a UFA, and will very likely not be returning. Management likes Joseph Woll, who was a star in their Games 5 and 6 victories over the Boston Bruins in the first round, but his lengthy injury history certainly leaves cause for concern. Obtaining Saros, long established as one of the top goalies in the NHL, eliminates that trouble spot in the Toronto lineup.

"Goaltender Juuse Saros, like Marner, will soon be on an expiring contract," notes Pagnotta. 

With (top goaltending prospect) Jaroslav Askarov waiting in the wings, moving Saros for extra firepower up front could be what the doctor ordered (for the Preds). 

As he notes, this is definitely a move that makes sense for both teams, and there could be other moving pieces added to this proposed deal, with Marner and Saros the centerpieces. He adds that extensions for the two expiring stars would also have to be agreed to as part of any deal of this magnitude. 

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