Mitch Marner linked to Western Conference team via trade

May 21, 2024  (5:39 PM)

Mitch Marner celebrates a goal
Photo credit: NHL

There are rumors that the Nashville Predators are looking to make a far larger trade after sending Ryan McDonagh back to the Tampa Bay Lightning.

The other 28 clubs that are currently sitting on the sidelines must continue to prepare for the future even with just four teams left in the 2024 Stanley Cup playoffs. Ryan McDonagh was traded by the Nashville Predators back to the Tampa Bay Lightning, where he played for five seasons and won two Stanley Cups. It appears that a reunion was not the purpose of the exchange.
As per Michael Gallagher of Nashville Hockey Now, the purpose of the deal was to free up Preds general manager Barry Trotz's payroll so that he could pursue a bigger target. Naturally, in light of the latest rumors, Mitch Marner's name came up.
"After talking to a few people, the sense is the McDonagh trade is a precursor to an aggressive pursuit of a high-end scorer by Barry Trotz

The Mitch Marner stans are going to be insufferable now"

Ever since the Toronto Maple Leafs lost to the Boston Bruins in the opening round of the 2024 Stanley Cup Playoffs, trade rumors have been circulating regarding Marner. There is a belief that Mitch Marner, Auston Matthews, John Tavares, and William Nylander—the "core 4"—must depart in order for Toronto to make progress in net or defense. Given how harshly he was critiqued for his postseason play, Marner appears to be the focus.
Nevertheless, Trotz emphasized in a post-McDonagh interview interview that honoring the 34-year-old defenseman's request was more important than cap space.
"It was a request a little bit from Ryan. We talked at the end of the year and he's got so many good memories of his time in Tampa, that's probably where him and his wife are going to settle. We just had a conversation about a little bit of life and what that holds in the future.

And so out of respect and the type of person that Ryan is, I talked to [Tampa Bay GM] Julien [Brisebois] and he made a fair deal that would allow us to have Ryan go back to Tampa Bay and do the right thing."

Though I'm sure the cap room is appreciated, it may be the case. When Trotz took over in Nashville, it was evident that the goal was to get the squad better as soon as possible..
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Mitch Marner linked to Western Conference team via trade

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