The Toronto Maple Leafs probably would like Mitch Marner to block Brad Marchand on Twitter.
Marner is in the midst of a fantastic season, logging 24 goals and 57 assists through 66 games. In fact, the 21-year-old is just the eighth player in Leafs franchise history to hit the 80-point mark in 66 or fewer games, as pointed out by NHL Public Relations.
Consequently, Marner, scheduled to become a restricted free agent this summer, is setting himself up for a major payday. And that’s bad news for the Leafs, who already have two players — Auston Matthews and John Tavares — making north of $10 million per year. So while Toronto certainly is thrilled with Marner’s production, the soon-to-be-salary-cap-strapped organization likely is dreading offseason negotiations with the star winger.
Not helping matters is Marchand, who took to Twitter on Tuesday to pump Marner’s tires. The goal (we assume) was to inflate Marner’s value to unreasonable heights.
Yeah, we doubt the Maple Leafs will be willing to pay Marner that much money. But Marchand and the Boston Bruins likely wouldn’t complain, as such a deal would make it awfully difficult for the Leafs to retain other key players or to improve other areas of their team, such as their still-problematic defense.
The Bruins currently lead the Leafs by one point in the Atlantic Division standings, though Boston does have a game in hand. The two teams currently are slated to square off in the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, and home-ice advantage could have a major impact on who advances to the second round.
The Bruins will return to the ice Tuesday night when they host the Carolina Hurricanes at TD Garden.
Thumbnail photo via Tom Szczerbowski/USA TODAY Sports Images