Sportsnet 590 The FAN: Frank Seravalli last week on the Kyper & Bourne show on the probability of the Toronto Maple Leafs asking John Tavares and Mitch Marner to waive their no-movement clauses and of them being traded.

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Justin Bourne: “You know, the Leafs have to do big things. People are talking about the core four. Mitch Marner’s name comes up as a guy who could be moved. Same with John Tavares. His name comes up with someone fans would like to see approached.

What do you think the possibility of those guys getting dealt with be and sort of what kind of market would there be were they to be available?

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Seravalli: “Well, I’ll start with John Tavares, because, you know, I think probably even John Tavares would be one to tell you that his play is not entirely commensurate with the pay that he’s earning and the cap hit that he’s taking in. That’s the way it works in the NHL, sometimes, especially as you get to the latter stages of a long-term deal.

That said, I think there’s probably a pretty, really small likelihood that he’s going to be playing in any uniform other than a Toronto Maple Leafs, one blue and white next season. And the reason for that is, I don’t know that you approach your captain. I don’t know that you make that type of decision.

And I’ll actually take it a step further. Yes, John Tavares. has not played at a level commensurate necessarily production-wise to his pay but I think if we want to have a larger conversation, John Tavares’ play has actually been fascinating to watch him evolve from someone that arrived as this kind of power forward that’s turned himself into an elite that front presents.

That, hey, I look at the first-round series. And if we’re not talking cap hit’s because, you know, we only can kind of judge and view players through that prism, he did still contribute and find a way to factor into two game winning goals in that seven game. Series.

So now let’s move on to Mitch Marner and have that conversation and rip the band-aid off because I think that’s going to be a much more difficult conversation. Now. I’ve heard and seen and read, there’s been no shortage of ink spilled on the idea of oh, well, he’s part of the core four. He eventually, he needs a new contract. But in the meantime, he has a no-move clause where he holds all the cards.

And I’ve said this before, I don’t necessarily buy into that notion that because Mitch Marner has a no-move clause that there isn’t a way to make a change to this Leafs core if you want to.

I think the conversation could be as blunt or as nice as they want to put it. But it’s really just as simple as, Mitch, we really appreciate everything that you’ve done here but when your contract expires, we are not offering you a new one. We are not bringing you back on an extension.

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So whether you have already played your last game as a Leaf, or whether you will be at some point whenever next season ends. That’s going to be it for you. And if you want you have the contractual right to head into your contract season, you know in parentheses for a team that might not want you, and you can go out and try and play through that or you can just work with us and we can rip that band-aid off and address that situation now.

So a long-winded way of saying there is malleability to this core, it’s much needed. There is also other contract, you know, contracts coming off the books where there’s flexibility. So there’s lots that the Leafs can do, and Brad Treliving can do, as he’s now gotten a full season of evaluation to begin to put his stamp for real on this roster.


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