The Maple Leafs haven’t hidden the fact that getting winger Mitch Marner re-signed before he reaches restricted free agency in July is their top priority. To that end, Sportsnet’s John Shannon reports (Twitter link) that GM Kyle Dubas met with Marner’s agent Darren Ferris yesterday but Dubas isn’t willing to comment publicly on the state of negotiations. Marner had a career-high 94 points in 2018-19 to lead Toronto in points for the second straight season. As a result, he has himself in great shape to land a huge raise on the $925K he received on his entry-level deal. Teammates John Tavares and Auston Matthews will each be earning at least $11MM in 2019-20 and it wouldn’t be surprising to see Ferris pushing for a salary around that amount for Marner as well.
Elsewhere in the Atlantic:
- While Anthony Mantha and Andreas Athanasiou had breakout years, Ted Kulfan of The Detroit News posits that the pair could make the most sense as trade candidates to land an impact defenseman. Detroit’s prospect depth is up front but most of their young players aren’t going to yield a top-four blueliner in a trade at this point. Mantha and Athanasiou are also set to become restricted free agents in 2020 and will be in line for significant raises at that time. New GM Steve Yzerman showed with Tampa Bay that he can be aggressive on the trade market and this would be one way to put a stamp on his team rather quickly.
- Sabres defenseman Brandon Montour will miss the remainder of the World Championships due to a lower-body injury, Hockey Canada announced. The injury was sustained on Monday in their victory over Slovakia. There’s no timetable for how long he’ll miss beyond these next two weeks. Canada has one roster spot remaining and it’s all but a given now that they will use it on another blueliner.