While the Maple Leafs have been focusing on getting RFA winger William Nylander locked up, they have held recent extension talks for winger Mitch Marner, agent Darren Ferris acknowledged in an interview on TSN 1050 (audio link):
“We’ve had some very productive discussions so far and if nothing’s done by the start of the season, then we’ll wait until next summer and we’ll get back at it again.”
Ferris added that he hasn’t set a firm deadline of the start of the season to get a deal done but indicated that it would be their preference to wait. Marner has been quite productive over his first two NHL seasons with 130 points in 159 regular games while playing at a point-per-game mark in the playoffs. Ken Campbell of The Hockey News was the latest to suggest that a $10MM per year contract may be needed and it’s hard to imagine the Maple Leafs being prepared to commit to that type of deal over the next few days.
More from the East:
- Columbus is already down one regular blueliner in Seth Jones and now they will be missing a second to start the season. Brian Hedger of the Blue Jackets’ team site notes that blueliner Ryan Murray is expected to miss the next couple of weeks due to a soft-tissue groin injury. The 25-year-old has dealt with injury issues in four of his five NHL seasons and it could very well become five out of six. Meanwhile, forward Alex Broadhurst is dealing with an undisclosed injury that is preventing him from being placed on waivers to be sent to Cleveland of the AHL.
- The Canadiens have started internal discussions about what to do with top pick Jesperi Kotkaniemi to start the season, notes Postmedia’s Stu Cowan. The third-overall pick has played well in the preseason but spent most of last year on the left wing; the Canadiens view him as a center but it’s difficult to ask him to play that position in the NHL right away. Julien has already indicated his preference is to have the 18-year-old break camp with the big club but management may prefer to start him at either the AHL level or back in Finland (he has a European Assignment Clause he can choose to trigger). Kotkaniemi can play in nine games before officially burning the first year of his entry-level deal.