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Only a 5% chance of Marner returning to Toronto, according to Frank Seravalli
Credit: Photo by Rich Graessle/NHLI via Getty Images
When the Maple Leafs lost (again) in the first round of the playoffs to the Boston Bruins, the rumour mill was back in full swing. After so many disappointments, Toronto must be realistic and change its core.

But who should go?

Auston Matthews? No, he’s the face of your team and scored almost 70 goals in a single season. William Nylander? No, you’ve just offered him a contract extension and he’s been your team’s most valuable player over the last few games of this latest series. John Tavares? No, his age and salary are lowering his value.

The only Core Four player we haven’t named is Mitch Marner. His name has been circulating in all kinds of trade rumors, sending him anywhere but Toronto.

Marner proved during the first-round series that he may not be cut out to be a top player on a Stanley Cup contending team. His reaction in Game 4 of the series proved that he struggles in the face of adversity.

We’re still talking about Marner because Daily Faceoff ‘s Frank Seravalli gave his opinion on the subject during the May 19 edition of the DFO Rundown podcast.

Seravalli explains that, in his opinion, there would only be a 5% chance of seeing Mitch Marner back in a Maple Leafs uniform for the start of the 2024-25 season. Only 5%!

That’s a pretty crazy statement, especially now that the Leafs haven’t asked Marner to waive his no-trade clause. Seravalli is convinced, however, that Marner is no good in the playoffs and that’s why he has to leave.

In 2024-25, the Canadian forward will complete the final campaign of his $10.903 million per season contract. The team that acquires him will certainly want to try to sign him to a contract extension as soon as the transaction is completed.

Even if he doesn’t perform very well in the playoffs, we’re still talking about a player who has produced 85 or more points in each of his last three seasons. He’s going to be expensive, and the team that acquires him won’t want to risk losing him.

Seravalli is also convinced that Toronto needs to clean up its defense. He thinks it’s time to trade defenseman Morgan Rielly before he starts to slow down and lose value. He may only be 30 years old, but there are five years left on his $7.5 million contract.

Toronto needs to clean house and keep an eye on the team this off-season.

You can listen to the entire DFO Rundown podcast here.

In a gust

– Maurice doesn’t seem convinced by the NHL’s decision.

– Staios refutes the rumours surrounding Brady Tkachuk.

– Expensive.

– They’ll need it.

– Sad news.

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