The Leafs locked in their three core offensive pieces over the last two seasons with William Nylander, Auston Matthews, and now Mitch Marner all signed to significant contracts. The team is cap compliant, yet people want to bitch and moan about how other teams negotiate? Morons.
The biggest gripe against Leaf fans or Leafs Nation is that they constantly try to shoehorn themselves or their team in conversations that legitimately don’t matter or correlate to their own team. With Braydon Point signing a team-friendly 3-year $6.75m contract, Leafs fans are piping up again comparing the Lightning’s star RFA to Mitch Marner.
Plain and simple. If you care or are bothered by the Point contract you’re a beta loser.
Last season, the Lightning rode Kucherov and Point to the greatest single regular season in NHL history. In the playoffs, they got bounced in four games by Columbus. If you still want to compare, losing in 8 to Boston > swept by Colombus.
Looking at their offseason, the Lightning signed Point, Vasilevsky, and Pacquette internally while externally adding Curtis McElhinney as a backup goalie and signed Kevin Shattenkirk to be a depth defenseman. Not earth-shaking progress, rather just sustaining their team.
Tampa Bay has its system and Toronto has theirs. Two different teams, two different designs, two different fan bases, and two different sets of players. Comparing and getting emotional about Braydon Point taking a haircut on a short-term deal to play in Florida is an embarrassing stance that too many people are taking up.
The Leafs have Marner for three more years than the Lightning have Braydon Point. With the league revenue slated to positively impact and grow the cap with the addition of the Seattle franchise and the pending legality of sports gambling in Canada and the United States, this is massive.
Renegotiating contracts when your star player is 26 years old and the cap has substantially increased is a recipe for disaster, even if your state doesn’t have income tax. The term you’ll hear more will be “cap percentage” instead of straight dollar values; higher cap = greater contract value for percentage deals.
Leafs had no option but to sign Marner.
Lastly, we have to look at the Leafs and why Mitch Marner’s contract was going to be signed eventually. There are two reasons why the Leafs were going to sign Marner and they’re blatantly obvious.
- The Leafs can’t play hardball and force Marner to sit, effectively throwing away a year of Matthews, Nylander, Andersen, Reilly, Ceci, Barrie, Muzzin, Johnsson, Kapanen, Kerfoot’s prime.
- Every other RFA signing team seems to be looking for short-term solutions with a low dollar value, which obviously the Leafs would be to. What team is going to trade for Marner, sign him to a high dollar deal and sabotage their own internal cap structure?
Hindsight is 20/20, but the only way the Leafs or any NHL team was getting Mitch Marner signed on a “value contract” was to extend him one or two seasons ago for what would have been at the time a gross overpayment at that time, based on his first few seasons of production.
The Leafs are locked into a team full of elite talent and have a massive window ahead of them. No cap space? No problem! The Leafs have already added the likes of Spezza, Gaudet, Petan, Gravel, Harpur, Aberg and Agostino who would have been deadline deal players to contending teams like the Leafs anyways.
Don’t be a loser. Stop comparing the Leafs to other teams. We all know things are different for Toronto and the Toronto Maple Leafs, it’s what makes us better than every other fanbase in the NHL.