F (OT)
Morgan Rielly and Mitch Marner
Photo credit: The Leafs Nation

Two Leafs stars under fire for dodging media after game 7 loss

Published May 5, 2024 at 8:52

This year's game 7 loss for the Leafs will bring about the end of an era for their ‘core four' forward group - as well as the coach Sheldon Keefe and the President. Last night's game was a reckoning for the Leafs, which is why it's so ridiculous to see two star players dodge the media post-game.

Both Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly, two players who serve as assistant captains and were on the ice for the overtime goal, did not make themselves available to the media. With the amount of salary and leadership these players command, fans have rightly pointed out that it's a horrible look for them to dodge the media.

Now, the Leafs only have Auston Matthews and William Nylander signed to term on their contracts. After the new team ownership leader moves on from President Brendan Shanahan and Coach Sheldon Keefe, Mitch Marner and John Tavares seem the most likely candidates to be traded off the team. It's hard to imagine that after eight years of playoff failure, the Leafs would be willing to give Marner a raise on his current contract of $10.9M. Last night was may be his final game as a Leaf, and he didn't speak to the media to be held accountable. Auston Matthews, William Nylander, and John Tavares all did speak to media.

In what could be his final game with his hometown Maple Leafs, it's just gutless to see Marner dodge the accountability of answering media questions for the fans. After demanding all his $10.9M in salary and never delivering in any success in the time frame, Marner may be asked to waive his no move clause so the team can re-tool. Surely, the Leafs aren't interested in giving him a raise on his next contract. Marner and Tavares combined for only two goals in the playoffs for $22M in salary, and that just isn't a winning formula.

Leaf fans are finally fed up with the unlike-ability of overpaid and underperforming star players. With this game, and now under new ownership, it feels like there's finally an appetite for ground breaking change for the Leafs. Even in Sheldon Keefe's post game comments, he admitted the messaging was stale and he knows he will be fired.

They could take a page from the Oilers book, who have surrounded their star players with balanced contracts and both offensive and defensive depth players. With the Leafs eliminated now and the Oilers facing the Canucks in round two, only one Canadian team will move to the third round.
May 5   |   125 answers
Two Leafs stars under fire for dodging media after game 7 loss

What should the Leafs do this offseason?

Run it back, they're great108 %
Fire the coach, keep the players75.6 %
Trade a star player, fire the coach7560 %
Rebuild everything3326.4 %
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