Mitch Marner's camp reaches out to Swiss League team for practice time
Mitch Marner doesn't appear to be satisfied with watching on the sidelines when the Toronto Maple Leafs' training camp begins next month.
In July, the 22-year-old restricted free agent forward indicated that he would not participate in camp without a new contract, and now it seems that he may have another option.
According to the Zurich Lions, an agent has reached out on behalf of Marner to inquire about the possibility of practising with the Swiss League squad if contract talks fail to progress.
"Whether and when [Marner] will train with Zurich is not decided yet," the team tweeted on Tuesday.
The ZSC Lions have been asked by the European agent if Mitch @Marner93 can participate in our practice. Whether and when the player will train with Zurich is not decided yet.#Marner #ZSCLions #MapleLeafs—@zsclions
Leafs star Auston Matthews played with the club during the 2015-16 season as he awaited draft eligibility.
Toronto's training camp will begin in mid-September in St. John's, N.L., and its no stranger to restricted free agency disputes. Last season, William Nylander remained in Sweden and worked out with an Austrian team before agreeing to a six-year contract in December.
Marner led the Leafs in scoring in each of the past two seasons and is coming off a career-high 94-point (26G, 68A) performance. He had 224 points (67G, 157A) over the three seasons of his entry-level deal and it's been speculated he could fetch at least $10 million US a season on a new deal.
Marner is not the only prominent restricted free agent caught up in a stalemate. Calgary Flames' Matthew Tkachuk, Winnipeg Jets forwards Patrick Laine and Kyle Connors, Vancouver Canucks' Brock Boeser, Tampa Bay Lightning's Brayden Point and Colorado Avalanche winger Mikko Rantanen also remain unsigned.