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The Toronto Maple Leafs could acquire defenseman Mikhail Sergachev from the Tampa Bay Lightning by trading Mitch Marner in a one-for-one exchange, according to NHL insider and reporter James Mirtle of The Athletic.

As he approaches the last season of the six-year, $65.4 million contract he inked with the Maple Leafs in 2019, Marner is at the top of many trade bait boards heading into the offseason. Marner has been the focus of trade rumors since Toronto was eliminated from the playoffs. According to Mirtle, Tampa Bay is a dark horse team to acquire him and may even deal Sergachev for him.

“Maybe something to do with the Lightning, who seem like potential influencers in this area. On June 26, Mirtle stated as much on the JD Bunkis program on Sportsnet. “It would be Sergachev.”

On July 13, 2022, Sergachev signed an eight-year $68 million contract, of which seven years are remaining. In addition, the Russian has no trade protection until July 1st, so if Tampa Bay decides to move forward with this fictitious agreement, it will have to be completed before July 1st without Sergachev’s approval.

Sergachev skated in 34 games for the Lightning during the previous season, managing just 2 goals and 17 assists for a total of 19 points. Sergachev was a vital component of the Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2020 and 2021 prior to breaking his leg in the previous season.

An insider explains why the trade should be made by the Maple Leafs.
Following his disclosure of the mock trade, Mirtle stated that, should it be considered, Toronto ought to make the trade.

With Sergachev’s seven-year contract remaining, the trade would give Toronto over $2 million in cap space as well as a true No. 1 defenseman.

“You get a defenseman, some cap space, and you hope that Sergachev gets better. He didn’t play well last year, but he was injured for a large portion of it. “I believe the Lightning are considering their options, considering that they might lose Stamkos, they are making a change there, and they want to see if they can get that team back to a competitive level and not just in the second tier,” Mirtle continued.

By adding Marner, Tampa Bay would bolster their roster with an explosive offensive playmaker. The fact that the team still has Erik Cernak and Victor Hedman and has acquired Ryan McDonagh also lessens Sergachev’s influence.

Marner Desires to Stay with the Leafs
Marner has been the focus of trade rumors, but he is able to reject any trade because he has a complete no-movement clause.

Marner wants to stay in Toronto, according to Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic, following the Maple Leafs’ playoff elimination.

“Darren Ferris, the veteran agent leading the Marner camp, is not currently working with a list of teams. As of right now, they have no plans to create such a list. Regarding the Marner camp, the talented winger is still under contract with the Leafs for one more year, and he plans to play for them,” LeBrun wrote.

Accordingly, this is all about what the Leafs bring to Marner this summer (if anything) and not the other way around, as far as I can tell at this precise moment. With his 100 percent no-move clause, which went into effect on July 1 of last year, Marner holds the majority of the cards, LeBrun added.

In 69 games played last year, Marner scored 26 goals and provided 59 assists for 85 points.


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