Yes, we at Centre of Leafs Nation have been critical of Mitch Marner during the on-going negotiations on a new deal, but no, we don’t have a personal vendetta against him. We have, however, grown frustrated with the manner by which things have played out over the last year.
Our coverage has always has been fair; we strive to offer opinions in a manner corresponding to reports, as they become available. If there’s is something that’s praiseworthy, we’ll report accordingly, and when there is something worthy of censure, you’ll read it here.
We won’t rehash our issues, as we expressed much of them in our previous blog “Mitch Marner: Contract Crisis”, But as we criticize the negotiations, our belief in Mitch’s talent has never diminished. Mitch is an important piece of the Maple Leafs’ Stanley Cup puzzle, that can’t be disputed. What can be criticized is how his agent, and others have negatively impacted this contract stalemate, and with each misstep it feels like someone is misreading the marketplace in place in Toronto at Mitch’s expense.
You can be angry, upset and deeply frustrated by all the reports and still like the player. These two very distinct points don’t contradict themselves as some may have you may have you believe. This is such a lazy narrative to be pushing, as if a friend can’t do anything to anger us from time to time but that shouldn’t change how much we want them in our lives.
The business of hockey is a deeply nasty part of the game that has many fans growing tired, but can’t it be avoided. I hope for all our readers, that once this stalemate is resolved that we can go back to cheering Mitch again and leave the booing to the rival teams and their players. He was an important piece of the Maple Leafs Cup aspirations before this dispute, and after a positive resolution, will be this season and well into the future.
Like a family, we need to learn quickly to forgive and forget and let’s get back to the passion that drives us all, the glorious game of hockey and our beloved Maple Leafs (all of the players)!