According to TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger, the Toronto Maple Leafs have been "persistent" in pushing both seven- and eight-year extension offers to restricted free agent Mitch Marner this summer.
Dreger reports the Maple Leafs made an offer of $11 million per season in June, which included the $1.6 million Schedule B bonus Marner did not receive in his entry-level contract. TSN Hockey Insider Bob McKenzie adds that since the average annual value was lower than Auston Matthews' new contract on a longer term, the $11 million salary hasn't been palatable to Marner's camp. Matthews signed a five-year, $58.17 million contract with the Maple Leafs in February, which carries a cap hit of $11.634 million through the 2023-24 season.
According to Dreger, a three-year extension remains the focus of the Marner camp, though that term could be problematic for the Maple Leafs since a rising salary structure could see Marner earn as much as $12 million in 2021-22 then accept the team's qualifying offer at that salary and reach unrestricted free agency in 2023.
McKenzie believes a "logical solution" for the two sides would be a three-year bridge contract, but Marner's ask of average annual value of $9-10 million on such a deal gives the Maple Leafs no incentive to do so. He adds it's "hard to see the way to a settlement unless one side or the other makes a seismic shift."
The logical solution would be a three-year bridge but because Marner wants an AAV in the $9M to $10M universe and the third year (base for QO) would be substantially higher, TOR has no incentive to do the bridge at those numbers. Hard to see the way to a settlement...— Bob McKenzie (@TSNBobMcKenzie) September 11, 2019