Mitchell Marner remains a restricted free agent and could miss the start of training camp with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but he has received plenty of support from center John Tavares this offseason.
"I've spoken to [Marner] throughout the summer, not a whole lot about his situation, but I've talked to him a little bit about how I feel about him and that I'm there for him, whatever he needs," Tavares said at the Maple Leafs' practice facility Monday. "He knows that and other than that, he's such a big part of our locker room and our group.
"Obviously, what he does on the ice and the type of impact he has [is huge]. He's just such a great guy, he's become a very good friend as well."
Marner played primarily on Tavares' right wing at even strength last season, when Tavares set NHL career highs in goals (47) and points (88) in his first season with Toronto. Marner set NHL career highs in goals (26), assists (68) and points (94).
If he remains unsigned, Marner, who has led the Maple Leafs in scoring in each of the past two seasons, said in July that he would most likely not attend training camp.