Mitchell Marner signing prior to the start of training camp remains the objective for the Toronto Maple Leafs.
“Certainly that’s our hope and our goal,” Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said during an interview with TSN published Tuesday. “I don’t think we want anyone to miss any days of training camp. We’ll continue work toward that. We’ll remain hopeful. As I’ve said throughout, I’m optimistic about it.”
Marner became a restricted free agent July 1. The Maple Leafs open camp in St. John’s, Newfoundland on Sept. 13.
“You want your whole team in there for training camp,” Dubas said. “We’re going to have some guys missing from injuries which we knew before, you can plan for that, but we hope everyone else is there.”
Marner led the Maple Leafs with an NHL career-high 94 points (26 goals, 68 assists) in 82 games. The 22-year-old forward had four points (two goals, two assists) in seven Stanley Cup Playoff games.
Video: Top 10 plays of 2018-19: Marner
Selected by the Maple Leafs with the No. 4 pick of the 2015 NHL Draft, Marner has 224 points (67 goals, 157 assists) in 241 regular-season games and 17 points (five goals, 12 assists) in 20 playoff games.
Dubas said he’s had an ongoing dialogue with Marner’s agent, Darren Ferris, and is open to any kind of contract.
“In a situation with a player like Mitch and what he means to our team not only on the ice but off, whether it’s long term or short term we’re open to discuss most of the available terms,” Dubas said. “Whatever may feel right for Mitch in the areas that we’re willing to discuss, we’ll go down that path.”
Dubas said his concern for an offer sheet has diminished because teams have come close to setting rosters for the season and there hasn’t been many trade discussions.
“We’ve had a few calls, but it hasn’t been ringing off the hook with teams either, I think because they feel we want to keep him,” he said. “Not sure what they’re hearing from the other side, but Mitch has said publicly this is where he wants to be. There haven’t been that many discussions. I don’t want to think about crossing that bridge.”
Video: [email protected], Gm1: Marner scores after hitting both posts
Dubas though is a realist and said he must consider all options,
“We have to make the decision that’s in the best interest of the Toronto Maple Leafs, always, and evaluate where things are at,” he said. “It’s our absolute goal as it always has been to have an agreement that keeps Mitch Marner here as long as possible and keeps him here for his whole career. That’s what we think about him as a person and a player. I don’t like to think about anything else.”