Mitch Marner’s next contract continues to be the talk of the town in Toronto—at least the hockey part of town—and Darren Dreger was on TSN radio today discussing what’s next in the negotiation. Dreger suggested that the Marner camp will be speaking to other teams when the free agent interview period begins in late June, to see what kind of opportunity would be out there if he were to pursue the infamous offer sheet.
The 22-year old forward is coming off an incredible season with the Maple Leafs where he immediately found chemistry with John Tavares and ended up with 94 points in 82 games, and now has a chance to be among the record-setting group of RFA wingers this summer. Names like Mikko Rantanen, Kyle Connor and Patrik Laine also all need new contracts and could very well change the landscape for top wingers coming off their entry-level contracts. The Maple Leafs and GM Kyle Dubas meanwhile have always seemed very confident they can get a deal done with Marner without an offer sheet coming into play, given the complete lack of them over the last several years.
- It looks like another one of the “old boys club” in Edmonton is on his way out, as the team has parted ways with skills coach Paul Coffey according to Mark Spector of Sportsnet. The Oilers organization has been criticized heavily in the past for allowing their former players to have too much influence over the team, but have also recently seen Craig MacTavish leave by way of the KHL. This comes on a day when new GM Ken Holland announced the hiring of Dave Tippett as the next head coach of the team, another huge change of leadership as they try to get back to playoff contention.
- According to Jon Rosen of LA Kings Insider the Los Angeles Kings are still in a “holding pattern” in regards to top prospect Gabe Vilardi’s rehab, as they wait for clearance before getting him into a skating and rehab program. Vilardi has unfortunately dealt with a serious back injury since being drafted 11th overall in 2017 and suited up for just four minor league games last season on a conditioning loan. The 19-year old forward has incredible offensive upside given his big frame and puck protection skills, but will need to get back to health before ever really figuring into the Kings plans.