If you pay enough attention to a lot of contract negotiations, you can see patterns emerge pretty quickly with how agents go about their business, particularly in negotiating through the media. To this point in the summer we’ve already been given a masterclass from Mitch Marner’s “camp” in this regard, with agent Darren Ferris going to some lengths to ensure his client’s contract ask is always in the forefront of Toronto news.

For a lot of fans (and I’m sure the team itself) this part of the playbook probably got tiring quickly, but it is part of what agents do. And given Ferris’s previous negotiations for clients Andreas Athanasiou, Josh Anderson and Sam Bennett, we were wondering when the whole “he’s going to go play overseas if he doesn’t get paid” card would be played.

Here are those receipts:


Well, apparently for Marner that day is today, with “sources” telling Sportsnet’s Rick Dhaliwal that his representatives have asked about suiting up for the Zurich Lions of the Swiss League this season if he can’t come to an agreement with the Leafs.

I really can’t stress enough how false this is, but it’s worth noting here anyway just to point out how we could always see a “report” like this coming from a mile away given who’s involved. The only surprising part is that it seems to be about two weeks early and not through the usual channel. Marner has not talked with the Lions in any meaningful way, they’re just the team his agent picked to put in the news.


Essentially straight from Ferris himself. Incredible.