Yawn. Another day, another offer-sheet rumor.
The latest concerns Toronto Maple Leafs right winger and pending 2019 RFA Mitch Marner, currently on track to top 100 points in his third NHL season and clearly owed a gargantuan pay hike.
As TSN’s Darren Dreger reported yesterday, “I can tell you, with certainty, teams are 100 percent preparing an offer sheet for Mitch Marner.”
First, a quick disclaimer: I don’t doubt the validity of what Dreger’s reporting for a second. He’s just the messenger in this situation, and the idea that GMs are floating offer-sheet plans doesn’t surprise me.
But let’s stop for a second and ask a few questions. First: what does a GM have to gain by leaking Marner offer-sheet plans to a reporter? If the team is actually wanting to offer-sheet Marner, then telegraphing it, leaking it to the press so that Leafs GM Kyle Dubas finds out, does not increase the odds of this other team landing Marner. It creates more urgency for the Leafs to get Marner signed to his long-term extension before the qualifying-offer window closes on June 25 or the first Monday after the 2019 draft. Teams can begin negotiating an offer sheet with a player as of 5:00 p.m. on the Tuesday, and a player can sign one from July 1 onward.