Toronto Maple Leafs fans must be feeling some serious déjà vu as they watch their general manager Kyle Dubas and star winger Mitch Marner attempt to agree on a new deal ahead of the upcoming season.
They witnessed a similar circus unfold involving the team and William Nylander last year, one that nearly cost the Swede the entirety of the 2018-19 campaign.
If there are any positives this time around, though, it’s the fact that Dubas has been through this before and learned plenty from how things shook out last time. As a result, don’t expect to hear much from him or the team’s front office until things are figured out.
“I’m happy to address the matter today and take your questions on it today, but then after that we won’t have anything from our end until there’s a solution to the matter one way or the other,” Dubas said Thursday during Leafs media day in reference to contract-related discussions with Marner. “So, I’ll give you the opportunity now to ask anything you want... Beyond that, (it will) be radio silence from us.”
While the approach will leave the public in the dark, it’s one that is understandable considering how the last few weeks (and months) have played out. As hockey insiders have revealed information about the process, fans and media members thirsty for puck-related news have strapped themselves to this roller coaster that seems to have no end in sight. And, frankly, it’s created a situation that isn’t productive or positive for anyone.
“I think one of the things we’ve learned is, once it starts, continuing to give updates and continuing to discuss it... is not always the best,” Dubas said. “I know it doesn’t serve the media and the public overly well. But, in learning from that, I think that’s why we want to handle it that way and we’ll roll from there...”
Marner is currently one of about a dozen high-profile restricted free agents coming off of entry-level deals that have yet to re-sign with their squads ahead of training camp.
The 22-year-old has led Toronto in scoring each of the last two seasons.
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