It's the middle of September and Mitch Marner and the Toronto Maple Leafs are still sniping back and fourth about a potential new contract. Based on the latest reports, however, maybe the Leafs were in the right after all.
Toronto has offered seven- and eight-year deals with an average annual value of around $11 million to the 21-year-old Marner, but he is still holding out hope that he could get a deal that surpasses that of... yes, Auston Matthews!
Marner has some serious delusions of grandeur here.
Yes, Marner might have picked up 94 points last year as compared to Matthews' 73, but anyone who watches the Leafs can clearly see that Matthews is the engine that drives this team both on and off the ice.
Marner is as perfect a complementary No. 2 player as there is in the league today, and could be a No. 1 option somewhere else. But he's not on Matthews' level.
Either one of two things are going to happen for the Leafs, both of which are bad. Either Marner will leave, or they'll overpay for him and potentially drive a wedge between him and Matthews. All told, this standoff could end up being a nightmare for Toronto if they can't stick the landing.