September 13, 2019 | 12:03pm ET
MARNER, MAPLE LEAFS WORKING TOWARDS CONTRACT
Mitch Marner, right wing
Contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and star winger Mitch Marner have intensified in the last 48 hours, a source close to the situation told TFP on Friday morning, and the two sides could be zeroing in on a three-year agreement.
Discussions between the sides are “back-and-forth” at the moment, the source said, but warned there are still multiple hurdles to get over.
Marner, 22, registered 26 goals and 68 assists for 94 points in 82 games with the Leafs last season.
Talks between the two sides have been up-and-down since the spring, with the Maple Leafs preferring a long-term contract and Marner’s camp looking at two- or three-year deal with an average annual value (AAV) in the neighborhood of $11 million to $11.5 million.
It had been reported earlier this week that Marner rejected seven- and eight-year offers made in June worth around $11 million per season.
According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, “a deal could get done quickly” as talks have now escalated, though it’s unclear what type of term and dollars are currently being discussed in hopes of getting a deal done.
Marner is among several high-profiled restricted free agents still without a new contract as training camps opened this week.
Multiple sources have told TFP there is a sizeable gap in talks between the Vancouver Canucks and forward Brock Boeser, while a deal is not believed to be close between the Tampa Bay Lightning and centre Brayden Point or between the Calgary Flames and forward Matthew Tkachuk, among other cases.
If Marner agrees to a new deal with the Leafs later today or over the weekend, it could help speed up the process for other players around the NHL.