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Team That Make Sense As A Marner Destination - Chicago

May 25, 2024, 10:15 PM ET [232 Comments]
Mike Augello
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Over the next few weeks, there will be a great deal of speculation regarding the potential trade of winger Mitch Marner, since Toronto Maple Leafs Team President Brendan Shanahan and GM Brad Treliving indicated earlier this month that something has to change after another early exit. The change began with the dismissal of Sheldon Keefe and the hiring of Craig Berube, but many agree that for the Leafs to potentially improve, a shakeup of the core group is a necessity.

While many teams might be interested in the 27-year-old All-Star, a nearly $11 million cap hit, a no-movement clause and one year remaining on Marner’s contract will be hurdles that Treliving will have to clear to make a trade beneficial to the Leafs. Assuming that he will waive his NMC, Marner’s camp will likely provide a list of teams that he would be open to going to and those clubs will undoubtedly want to get him signed to a lengthy extension if they are giving up significant assets for him.

We will take a look at teams that have either the cap space or assets to make a Marner deal and who the Leafs could expect to get in a potential trade:

Chicago

The Blackhawks won the lottery in 2023 and drafted likely Calder Trophy winner Connor Bedard first overall. This season, GM Kyle Davidson began to assemble a support structure around Bedard by extending quality veteran character players like Jason Dickinson and Nick Foligno, but he must start to add players who will be around when Bedard comes of age and when Chicago is ready to make the playoffs.

Marner would fit that description and would provide Bedard with a premier setup man, as he has been for Auston Matthews.

Possible Trade Targets:

Seth Jones – The 29-year-old was dealt to Chicago in 2021 with a year left on his deal with Columbus and signed an eight-year, $76 million extension. The big right-handed defenseman would give Toronto a top-pairing partner for Morgan Rielly, but the $9.5 million cap hit and six years remaining term might scare some off.

Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman said after the Leafs were eliminated that Jones could be on Toronto’s radar, but did not say if it was in connection to a Marner deal or not. It is unlikely that Davidson would retain any of Jones's salary since he will have to preserve all the space he can down the line for Bedard and some of the youngsters to come.

Draft picks – The Hawks are loaded with draft picks over the next three seasons (some of them coming from the Leafs from the Jake McCabe/Sam Lafferty deal). Chicago has 16 picks (five first-rounders, seven second-rounders, and four third-rounders) over the next three drafts, and with Toronto’s desire for cap flexibility, a deal revolving around a package of draft picks could be possible.

Prospects – Frank Nazar, Kevin Korchinski, Drew Commesso, Lukas Reichel.


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