Darren Dreger the heir to TSN’s top hockey insider, who is currently behind only Bob Mackenzie, lit Maple Leafs twitter on fire Tuesday with comments on Mitch Marner’s contract situation.
The always reputable and well researched (and connected) insider went on Andi Petrillo’s Leafs Lunch radio show on May 28th to report on the Mitch Marner contract situation. But, is Dreger just like the rest of us in Leafs Nation, stuck outside the Maple Leafs media cone of silence and left to speculate?
Anyways, according to Dregs, he’d be surprised if Marner wasn’t on an airplane on June 26th if he hasn’t signed with the Maple Leafs by then. The reaction in Leafs Nation was incendiary.
The social media reaction seems to have interpreted Dreger’s statement as confirmation that Marner will be looking to be traded or offer-sheeted this offseason. If you actually listen to what the Insider said, though, it’s not that at all.
He begins by stating the Leafs will come in with an offer of $10+ million to open the discussion and will be eager to get a deal done with the star winger. Does that sound like Toronto is going to bow out of the race for Marner’s signature?
The information in this radio hit is speculative at best, both by Dreger and by everyone who blew up his comments. The logistics of this aloof, loose statement on Marner’s contract situation make sense though. Dreger, who worked on TSN’s coverage of the World Hockey Championship and spent the better part of May in Eastern Europe wouldn’t be the most connected to his sources half a world away, right? So why are we taking his statement as gospel then?
Is it news at all?
Take a minute to breakdown what he actually said and you can see it isn’t news at all. Dreger “wouldn’t be surprised” by an unsigned RFA giving potential suitors time to pitch to him. Kind of a no-brainer, isn’t it? Dregs also “believes” Toronto will come in with an initial offer higher than $10 million to start negotiations and be aggressive in their pitch to keep him. Well, Didn’t we all think Marner would earn more than that and the Leafs would want to keep him?
In reality, this may all be Marner’s agent putting nuggets of information out to pressure the Leafs into upping their offer. Or, maybe the largely ignored Stanley Cup Finals (by Canadian standards) is not getting enough eyes and TSN needs a marquee story to pump in some numbers.
Either way, the cone of silence over the Maple Leafs under Brenden Shanahan has the NHL’s best insiders grasping at straws, Dreger included. No one called (with certainty) the Tavares signing until it happened, no one predicted the Muzzin trade midseason, and now no one knows what is happening within the Leafs war room in regards to the Marner contract. Sit back, look at what is actually being said, and let’s not blow it out of proportion. Deal?