Vanilla Fudge - Keep me hangin on.

Toronto Maple Leafs mid term report card 2019/2020

Well, it is that time again, just after Christmas it is time to hand out grades to the players and management. It has been quite the season, where at one point after losing 6 games straight the Toronto Maple Leafs looked to be out of the playoffs with potentially no first round pick. When have we heard that one before? At one point things looked quite bleak and the season almost lost.

 But then somehow Maple Leaf GM Kyle Dubas convinced his seniors such as president Brendan Shanahan the problem was not the on ice product but rather coach Mike Babcock and voila, the inexperienced Sheldon Keefe replaced Babcock as coach and Dubas looked the perverbial genius again.I'm still of the opinion Toronto has to make some changes to win a Stanley cup but I have been wrong before and would love to be again.I have delayed the report this year as coach Sheldon Keefe has a very small sample size and in my opinion had a very favourable NHL schedule to step into.So, here we go.

Former coach Mike Babcock gets a lump coal. His refusal to adapt or change cost him his job as the players tuned him out and clearly quit on him and his ancient style.After losing 6 in a row and having played .500 for about a year he was fired. There was no other possible course of action. Mike was good for the a young team for a couple of years but it just wasn't working out anymore. Grade : D. For the money being spent the performance just wasn't there.Boston even expressed surprised The leafs " Didn't adust" after last years first round playoff loss. In the end Babcock's reluctance to change was his downfall as his schtick ran thin with the players and fans alike.

New coach Sheldon Keefe has been a breathe of fresh air and his upbeat style has resonated with the players, so far. If I'm not mistaken he as to be the youngest coach to hit 10 wins so fast, ever, most certainly for the Toronto Maple Leafs organization. From what I can see Sheldon seems to be able to recognize the strengths and capabilities of his players and manages get it out from them.Sheldon even got the Leaf's backup Hutchinson his first win. Early to tell but Grade : A

Auston Mathews: Auston is scoring like a madman(29 goals in 44 games) which is exactly what he is paid to do. Some feel he lacks consistency, wish he would use his body more and could work a little on his two way game . But that isn't what he got $11 Million per year contract for and it could come in time. Grade A

Mitch Marner: Mitch has now moved up to play with with star Center Auston Mathews giving the Maple Leafs a dynamic duo. Mitch missed some games due to a nasty ankle injury but with 41 pts. in 33 games has played very well. Small sample size and has played a lot better under Sheldon Keefe : Grade A

William Nylander: Prone to floating, avoiding back checking, physical contact but has looked very good playing offensively with Captain John Tavares. Great offensive skills but usually leaves you wanting more defensively. Grade B.

John Tavares: He isn't having a career year by any means and may be starting to slow down a bit. He gets hit a lot due to the fact the Leafs have very little grit to protect their captain but he is still effective. Grade B.

Kaspari Kapanen: Not having a great year so far ,and seems to have lost some of his intensity from last year. A great skater but isn't scoring like he is capable of. Grade C. I think he has more to offer but so far a down year for him.

Morgan Reilly: Perhaps is playing injured or just misses Ron Hainsey but Morgan isn't having a career year so far and is prone to some defensive lapses making many question his number one status. Good offense but his defense is another matter this year. Morgan Reilly recently confirmed he is playing with a lower body injury. Grade C+.

IIya Mikheyev(soup) has quickly became a fan favourite. He has size, can skate, he hits and scores some nice goals. A great pick up having a very good rookie year before he got a serious slashed wrist injury putting him out for upto 3 months. Grade B.

Offensive defenseman, Tyson Barrie came over with Center Alex Kerfoot in the Nazem Kadri trade from Colorado and he is not having a great year. It is a little surprising as he is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year, usually players have career years at that time . For whatever reason he and the Leafs do not seem to be one with the universe. While many say the Maple Leafs improved powerplay is because of Barrie, I say it is because of  Sheldon Keefe and Barrie will not improve the Leafs playoff chances. Dubas would be wise to get something for him by the trade deadline , especially if they can package a winger and get an upgrade on defense.It makes no sense to keep him when you have Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin. Grade C-

Alexander Kerfoot has been an effective 3rd line center who isn't afraid to get involved physically and will chip in offensively. Grade B-

Jason Spezza looked all but finished under Babcock but he found his second breathe playing 4th line under Keefe and to me has looked quite good for a veteran who patiently waited for his chance. Given he was signed for free and his age and acceptance of his role. Grade B.

Zach Hyman came in late off injuries but to me is having his best year ever. There isn't much to not like about Hyman's game. He hits, he checks and has netted some nice goals this year. Grade A-

Andreas Johnsson was off to another slowish start when he got injured. He is the most likely to be offered in any trade package once he returns. I can't see the Leafs keeping both him and Kapanen.Grade C.

Jake Muzzin. People say he is slowing down, he never was that fast but I think he has played well and with jam and physicality. He got injured by Washington's Tom Wilson and played on with the injury but eventually had to recover . I think the Leafs would be wise to resign a guy like Jake on a 3 to 4 year deal. Muzzin brings a lot of intangibles to the team, including blueline grit. Grade C+.

Justin Holl: The Maple Leafs got lucky and found a top 4 defenseman out of nowhere really. They promptly gave him a 3 year deal at $2 Million per year. A great find and the real surprise find this year. Grade B+

Pierre Engvall is a former 7th rounder(2014) from Sweden.The winger has payed very well, mostly on the 4th line where he has chipped in with some timely goals. His arrival, along with his size and tools(PK killer) have made others expendable. A true revelation. Grade A.

Frederick Gauthier is a 4th liner who seems to be a bordeline NHL'er and with his size makes many wish he wasn't such a gentle giant.He does check well and can take faceoffs but needs to either score more or get more involved physically to keep his job .Grade C-.

Travis Dermott came into the season late from injury and to me looks to be a future top 4 defenseman who can chip in offensively while playing a physical style, he just isn't quite there just yet. Grade C+.

Dmytro Timashov is a former Mark Hunter 5th rounder who has played well as a 4th line winger, the question is does he have a future in Toronto ? Rumours are Dubas may be looking to move him. Grade C.

Codi Ceci came over from Ottawa in the Zaitsev, Brown trade. He is an unrestricted free agent at the end of the year. He is clearly not a top 2 defenseman despite the protests of Leaf GM Kyle Dubas and to me is for the most part not high impact. He is the kind of defenseman you only notice when he makes mistakes. Grade C.

Trevor Moore was playing reasonably well and was one of the Leafs more physical players before his injury. Small sample size. Grade C.

Martin Marincin. Despite being waived this guy hangs around like a bad smell. Grade D. Dubas just resigned him for another year at 700K per year.

Frederick Andersen: He has been for the most part stellar and most nights is the Leafs defense.The Leafs rely heavily on Andersen to make the big saves and then try and just outscore the other team much like the old 80's Edmonton Oilers and Grant Fuhr. So far, he has been the Leafs best player. Let's hope he doesn't burn out or get injured, the Leafs season depends on it .Grade A.

Michael Hutchinson: He got off to brutal start before finally winning a couple of games and was on many nights left out to dry. While he has looked better, he doesn't always make the big saves. Grade C-.

Kyle Dubas. Hard to rate him fairly right now. Will he trade Tyson Barrie or Cody Ceci or will get nothing? Is Jake Muzzin resigning or did he overpay for a rental? Was trading two first rounders wise on a cap strapped team? Has he overpaid the kids? Dubas has a couple of holes to fill before this team wins a cup, namely defense and backup not to mention grit. Grade C+.

Team grade B+: Defense still remains a concern and on many nights the team leaves their goalie out to dry. There is plenty of offense and as long as Frederick Andersen stays healthy they have a chance every night. The problem is the Leafs are getting injured and the playoffs are a different animal than the regular season. This style is fun to watch and works now but it may wear thin as the games get tighter and the NHL playoffs approach. Will the changes be made that are needed? Does Dubas even have the chips? I don't think another first round playoff loss will be received well.

Player to watch: Rasmus Sandin looks to be a future star defenseman.

Honourable mention: Timothy Liljegren, a 20 year old Right handed defenseman and a former first rounder should soon get a good look in the NHL, he seems close to being ready.

Wouldn't you know it, release report, Leafs go on a 3 game losing streak , including an 8 to 4 ass whoopin to Florida. Dubas better wake up, this team is heading for another first round exit. Something anyone could do, especially with all the money spent.Should leafs accept failure at this point? The answer is no. Anyone could guide this team to a first round playoff exit..anyone.

Game 9 for the Leafs and a critical game against Boston.

It all happened so quickly. Only 8 games into the NHL season and they were facing the Boston Bruins in a game that could begin the undoing of the Shanahan, Dubas,Babcock troika.

After 8 games, weaknesses were starting to appear that had many fans questioning the direction the franchise was heading. So far, the Leafs had only managed to beat lesser teams, one of which was Minnesota(bottom of the league). They had even lost to arch rival Montreal, 6 to 5 in OT. When the Leafs lost to the better teams, they looked bad doing it. They seemed to lack conviction in their top 6 and were getting pushed around while avoiding any contact. They often looked they were playing in an all star game while the other teams had realized just to push them around and they would fold.

When the Leafs were pushed, such as Shea Weber's thunderous hit on captain John Tavares or last night when Tom Wilson smashed their captain, there was no response. To make matters worse, Toronto's goaltending had been inconsistent at best, exposing their brand new, super offensive defense with Jake Muzzin heading into unrestricted free agency as was newly acquired Codi Ceci and Tyson Barrie.It was possible Morgan Reilly could be their only returning defenseman next year and he hadn't even got his huge raise yet ! Both Ceci and Barrie hadn't played that well and after 8 games only 3 teams in the NHL had let in more goals against.

But it got better, Leafs Captain John Tavares had broken his finger in last night's physical affair versus the Washington Capitals. Teams had learned to target and get physical with the Leafs and shut their stars down. Both Auston Mathews and Mitch Marner had not looked worth the money they were making, especially with the play of Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid. Many were starting to say Dubas was a soft touch, much like his team, and had overpaid at $40 M for just 4 players. That his giving in to so much  left other areas weak, such as backup goaltender and defense.

The Leafs looked lacklustre at times, looking to make perfect plays and score pretty goals. On top of that Coach Mike Babcock made some odd late game decisions such as Kapanen and Kerfoot on late, when they needed a goal. He has been slow to make needed adjustments or call time outs at important times in the game . It wasn't all Babcock's fault though since his team had the wrong balance for these type of hard fought games against good teams. In addition backup goalie Hutchinson had not looked good either. Good goaltending covers many sins.

Babcock had likely asked for certain types of players and the Leafs were all offense. Was that a GM outlook because I doubt Babcock wanted to take an all offense team into the playoffs in the brutal East.Unless Frederick Andersen played the second coming of Patrick Roy this team would get slaughtered. Many said the team had even regressed after changing 9 players on the roster. They had gotten rid of all the passengers and had brought in the guys the young, inexperienced GM Kyle Dubas had specifically said were needed to win in today's new, gentler game

So, what had happened ? Well the Leafs weren't drawing penalties, so they were unable to punish other teams the way other teams punished the Leafs captain with impunity. The word was out, hit the Leaf stars and win, there will be no response the team is "soft as butter" just like the GM who designed it that way.

The net result is that Toronto's next game against arch rival, the Boston Bruins was now critical with star Captain Tavares injured. You see many Leaf fans were starting to not only question the balance the team had but if they had just overpaid for 4 players creating critical holes in the team.There defense was no better, the coaching was dull and unimaginative and the GM looked foolish as if he was stuck on some perceived NHL omnibus against physicality many years from now.

To make matters worse of  the 6 Canadian home games on Tuesday, only the Toronto Maple Leafs had sold out and Ottawa's attendance numbers were already horrible. Potentially signaling the failure of the new and improved  Bettman brand of NHL hockey in Canada. Perhaps many fans who liked NFL, Wrestling,UFC etc. enjoyed that part of the game. Perhaps those were the majority who were fed up with no cup in Canada ever since the legendary Patrick Roy and Claude Lemieux overcame some nasty officiating to win it all so,so long ago.

One could sense the growing frustration of fans with Toronto. They had been sold on improvement, glowing new ideologies and techniques to help the team on special teams etc. That you didn't need defenseman unless they had skill and could skate and pass like the wind. To make it better they were in danger now of losing the only defenseman who could play defense in Jake Muzzin as a free agent.

So, in only game 8, the whole management team would go on the grill against a very good Boston team who was 5 and 1. What did it mean? If the Leafs played poorly or were pushed around or another star got injured, the heat was going to go up very early this season. Someone would need to take the blame because when you wait since 1967, no one can say your not patient and the way this team is playing they won't get far in the playoffs again without big changes.

As of this writing Toronto's 3rd line of  Moore,Kerfoot and Mikheyev was their best line with their 4th line being very effective. But the top 6 plus  their defense and goaltending were very subpar as was the coaching. At some point the howls from the fans and media will be "why?"  It was only game 9 but already a critical game was about to be played that would likely alter their direction should they lose in the wrong fashion. It was highly unlikely Leaf fans wanted to see another first round exit this year.

Everyone loves the playoffs and in a sense it was coming early this year. What better test to see what this team was truly made of than the red hot division rivals Boston Bruins who had already handed them 2 first round exits ?

Are the Toronto Maple Leafs better than last season ?

In a nutshell, the answer is yes. The Maple Leafs are a year older, there are no hold outs, i.e: no William Nylander holdouts this year. Center John Tavares is now settled in, and of course, star winger Mitch Marner is under contract for a very comfortable 6 years. Goalie Frederick Andersen has looked stellar in pre season play and back up Hutchinson should be good for 20 plus games this year. On defense often spotty defenseman Jake Gardiner has been replaced by Tyson Barrie in the Nazem Kadri trade and Kerfoot has settled into his 3rd line duties.

On paper this team looked good to go. Defenseman Rasmus Sandin had made the team and with Dermott out with injury, Marincin had taken the number 6 slot , as place holder. There was pressure squarely on coach Mike Babcock now, as another first round exit would be disastrous. Leaf  GM Kyle Dubas had his own little cult following, who believed that despite the last 2 Stanley Cup winners ( Washington and St. Louis) that size,grit and character were no longer needed and old school Babcock needed to be enlightened. There was no longer any need to protect stars, the refs would do that for them. ROFL.

There was, in fact, one small problem, Dubas had backed himself, for now, into cap Hell . IIya Michalev, at 24 years of age had replaced injured winger Zach Hyman. Hyman was now starting to feel the wear and tear of going in the corners alone. Meanwhile, the gritty Kadri had been banished for stopping his teammates from being attacked by the NHL loved(dirty play, what dirty play?) big,bad Bruins.

Nikita Zaitsev and his contract was traded away along with Connor Brown who himself had been replaced by  the up and comin Trevor Moore. Former first rounder Fredrick Gauthier had finally played well enough to get Babcock's attention and Spezza gave that veteran presence for the 4th line, if needed.

Everything is perfect for Toronto to have an even better season this year. But did that matter? No, not really. The regular season now was more of a formality. There is almost no one who would bet against this team making the playoffs. The great thing is, less could be more for the Leafs. Why? Because if they finished lower in the standings they won't have to play their arch nemesis, the Boston Bruins again. Now I ask you, just how bad could that be? To make it even better, the Leafs have no first rounder this year anyway.

This was a season to be enjoyed by the Leaf fans. Cherished even. No matter what happened this season, they were playoff bound. The worst that could happen is they play Boston again. This would be probably the best offensive season for the Toronto Maple Leafs ever. But that wasn't the question. Will Dubas make the changes needed to ensure first round success this year ? I believe he will. Dubas has no other choice and is fully committed now.

Enjoy Leaf fans, I can assure you this will be a season like no other. Expect first round victory this year ! Or heads will surely roll !

Update October 7th 2019: The Leafs had a good start to the season landing 5 out of 6 pts. In the 3rd game in 4 nights, they took a 4 to 1 lead before folding and losing to Carey Price, 6 to 5 in shootout fashion.Montreal's captain Shea Weber crushed  Leaf captain John Tavares, setting the tone and Toronto was unable to respond. It showed a critical flaw that Leaf GM Kyle Dubas must address before the playoffs and most likely before the Trade deadline. The Leafs lack the type of player who can set the tone and act as a deterrent to their Captain and star players getting ambushed. Yes, they ran out of gas, Yes, Kapanen lost it much like Kadri did in frustration. But also, moral dropped right around when Weber crushed new Leaf Captain John Tavares.

You can't blame the coach if you won't give him the tools he needs. This team is overloaded with flash talent, but does it have the right balance to finally get through the first round and take on teams like Washington, Boston and St Louis?

On an upnote, Toronto's third line of Russian rookie winger Mikheyev, newly acquired  center Kerfoot and  winger Trevor Moore has been both a revelation and Toronto's best line. They exude hustle,speed and determination and  have been very effective so far.

Leaf GM Kyle Dubas has some assets in layers like Barrie(UFA) and Kapanen that he could package for some cap relief and different type of players. The Leafs are blessed with Liljegren and Sandin and need to re sign Jake Muzzin. I don't know what to say about Kapanen but he doesn't see to fit anywhere.I have heard Barrie will want $7 Million plus and don't see how the Leafs can fit that in. They also have players like Bracco, Korshkov and Engvall pushing upwards.

The Cult - Love removal machine

Mitch Marner's story.

Mitchell Marner was born on May the 5th 1997 to Paul and Bonnie Marner in Markham, Ontario. Mitch grew up in Thornhill, Ontario with his older brother Christopher. He began his minor hockey career in the Greater Toronto Hockey League(GTHL) and in the Durham region. In 2011/2012 he played for the Vaughan Kings going on to win the GTHL title.

Growing up, Mitch was a huge Toronto Maple Leaf fan, while his two favorite NHL players were Patrick Kane of the Chicago Blackhawks and Sydney Crosby from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

During the 2012/2013 season Mitch played for the Don Mills Flyers of the GTHL where he produced and impressive 86 points in 55 games playing his minor midget year. Mitch finished second in scoring to Dylan Strome and was invited to play for the St. Michael's Buzzers of the Ontario junior 'A" league and managed to win a championship there.

In his minor midget season, Mitch was unsure of his future plans and had to decide between a scholarship offer from the University of Michigan and playing fo the Wolverines ,while being drafted 19th overall by the OHL London Knights.Mitch choose the OHL and the Mark Hunter owned London Knights. He managed OHL rookie of the year runner up with 59 points in 64 games that year.

During the  2014/2015 season Mitch was ranked as one of the top prospects for the 2015 NHL draft while playing very strongly in conjunction with his linemate Max Domi, son of former Leaf enforcer Tie Domi. Mitch lead the OHL in scoring for most of the season but lost out to Dylan Strome from the Erie Otters when Dylan scored six points in the last game of the season, jumping past Marner who then finished second in scoring overall.

Mitch played a huge role during the London Knights 2016 playoff run helping his team win the Memorial cup where he led the playoff scoring with a whooping 44 points in 18 playoff games as was given the Wayne Gretzky 99 award for being playoff MVP that year. He also received the Stafford Smythe Memorial trophy and Ed Chynoweth Trophy to boot.He also was awarded the Jim Mahon memorial trophy as the OHL's top scoring right winger.

As a result, Mark Hunter, now head scout for the Toronto Maple Leafs drafted Mitch 4th overall in the loaded 2015  Connor McDavid NHL draft.This fulfilled a dream of Mitch's to play for his hometeam.During the draft, star center and number overall pick Connor McDavid, walked upto Mitch and said " You are so lucky!" While the draft was loaded with talent, Hunter was convinced he had taken the second most skilled player in the draft ahead of notable defensemen Noah Hanifin, Zach Werenski and Ivan Provorov.Rumour is Toronto was looking to trade down, luckily that never materialized. Mark Hunter looked very nervous as he stepped to the microphone and announced the Toronto Maple Leafs would be taking Mitch fourth overall that year.On July 18th 2015, Mitch Marner signed a 3 year entry level contract with the Leafs and never looked back.

Marner's NHL career begins.

Mitch had an outstanding training camp and pre season and the Toronto Maple Leafs quickly decided, after he led the team with 4 assists, he would be staying with the big team to start the 2016/2017 NHL season on October 12. Mitch played well with 6 shots on net that night only to be overshadowed by Auston Mathew's record 4 goal debut .However, in the next game playing on Hockey Night in Canada , Mitch scored his first NHL goal,  while getting his first career assist four days later.

While paying against the Florida Panthers, October 27, 2016, Mitch got his first multi-point game, managing three assists to help the Maple Leafs to a 4–2  victory. Mitch got his first multi-goal game on November 3, 2016 helping Toronto edge the Buffalo Sabres 2 to 1. On November 15, 2016, Mitch had three points  against the Nashville Predators for a 6–2  win.For the first time in his NHL career Mitch was tied for the lead in scoring on the Leafs with winger James Van Riemsdyk.

On January 2017 Mitch had 11 assists and 4 goals for 15 points in 13 games and won the NHL's Rookie of the month.The Leafs were the first team to have 3 rookie's of the month in one season.

Mitch wasn't done as he broke the record held for 73 years by Gus Bodnar and got 42 assists. Mitch finished the season with 61 points while playing alongside Center Tyler Bozak and winger James Van Riemsdyk. The Leafs became the first team since the 1981 Quebec Nordiques to have 3 rookies(Marner,Mathews,Nylander) all finish with 60 points or more.With the help of Mitch, the Toronto Maple Leafs qualified for the 2017 Stanley Cup playoffs where he scored his first playoff goal on his first shift of Game 1. Mitch went on to record four points in a tough fought series against the top seeded Washington Capitals losing out in in six games. After the series Cap's players were quoted as saying
 " They gave us everything they had! "

2017/2018 season

On December 19, 2017 Mitch ended a 15-game goal drought to record his first four-point game. Mitch got 3 assists with one goal to help Toronto crush the Carolina Hurricanes 8 to 1 that night. Then on February 10, 2018, Mitch had his first five-point game , getting two goals and three assists and become the first Maple Leafs player to record five points in a game since defenseman Thomas Kaberle did so in 2009.

Mitch finished the regular season leading the Maple Leafs in both assists and points, while setting career highs for goals, assists and points. Mitch helped the Maple Leafs to their second consecutive Stanley Cup playoffs appearance. In the 2018 Stanley Cup playoffs  Mitch was the first Maple Leafs player, since star defenseman Brian Leetch, to record a five-game point streak during the Stanley Cup playoffs. Mitch went on to score and lead the Maple Leafs in scoring with 9 points before they were eliminated by the Boston Bruins in 7 games.Many Bruin players and their fans took note of Mitch and his fine play that year.

The 2018–19 season

 - October 9, 2018,  against the Dallas Stars Mitch records a four-point game (one goal and three assists)  
- On October 27, Mitch records his 100th career assist on a game-tying goal .

 - Mitch records 22 primary assists in his first 24 games, a record only surpassed in the last 20 years by superstar Mario Lemieux. 

-January 3, Mitch ties a Toronto Maple Leaf record for fastest goal to start a game by scoring seven seconds into a game

- January 17, 2019, Mitch  becomes the first Maple Leaf ever to start his career with 3 consecutive 60 point seasons.

- February 23, 2019 Mitch records two assists to give him his  200th point of his NHL career. He finishes the regular NHL season by leading the team in scoring and is also third in the NHL with assists while having a career-high  26 goals, 68 assists and totalling 94 points making him the first Maple Leaf , since Mats Sundin in 1997, to score  at least 90 points in a season.

On September 13, 2019, Mitch Marner and the Toronto Maple Leafs signed a six-year, $65.358 million contract bringing great relief to the fans , management and the player himself. " I wanted to be in camp with my teammates."

As per wikipedia:

Career statistics[edit]

Regular season and playoffs[edit]

Regular seasonPlayoffs
2012–13Don Mills FlyersGTHL5541458638
2012–13St. Michael's BuzzersOJHL61340143140
2013–14London KnightsOHL641346592893694
2014–15London KnightsOHL63448212656797168
2015–16London KnightsOHL57397711673181628448
2016–17Toronto Maple LeafsNHL771942614061340
2017–18Toronto Maple LeafsNHL822247692872794
2018–19Toronto Maple LeafsNHL822668942572242
NHL totals241671572249320512176


2014Canada OntarioU175th56392
2014CanadaIH181st, gold medalist(s)52576
2017CanadaWC2nd, silver medalist(s)1048128
Junior totals1512102212
Senior totals1048128

Awards and honours

International career play.

Mitch has played internationally for Canada and made his debut at the 2014 Ivan Hlinka Memorial tournament winning a gold medal there.Marner managed to tie Mathew Barzal as the leading scorer for Canada.

During the 2016 IIHF Junior Championships held in Helsinki, Finland both he and Dylan Strome each led Canada with four goals and 2 assists in 5 games.Team Canada managed to reach the quarterfinals where Marner scored twice before Canada lost to the gold finalists.

At the 2017 IIHF World Championships Marner made his  senior Canada team debut , where team Canada won silver. Mitch scored  12 points in 10 games and placed in the top ten in scoring ,second to Nathan MacKinnon for team scoring.

Mitch and his girlfriend Stephanie LaChance.

On the latest strange story from Leaf land Mitch is now reporting some very strange behaviour from former Leaf coach Mike Babcock. As the story goes Babcock asked Mitch as a rookie to make a list of the hardest to least hardest working players on the team. Mitch wanting to make his coach happy obliged. Babcock then read the list of least hard working players out to the team. The rumours are now surging that the youngsters held out for higher money to put up with  playing for Babcock.Only in Leaf land folks.