Would the Toronto Maples trade Mitch Marner to the Chicago Blackhawks for Seth Jones?

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The Toronto Maple Leafs failed to advance in the Stanley Cup playoffs and are loaded on double-digit annual average values.

Mitch Marner is one of those players and is set to be a free agent after next season. That is a huge reason rumors are going around that he will be available on the trade market. Also, Leafs fans want him skating for another team badly.

Marner is 26 with a $10.9 million AAV. He scored 26 goals and had 59 assists last season. Marner is a great passer as evidenced by his 445 career assists.

The Chicago Blackhawks are among the few teams with the cap space to take on his full salary. They need upgrades at forward badly.

However, Marner has a no-movement clause so he would have to approve any trade. Maybe, he does not want to go to a team that is still at least another season or two away from competing for the playoffs. On the other hand, playing on the same line as Connor Bedard has to be appealing.

What would it take for the Blackhawks?

Defenseman Seth Jones and his $9.5 million AAV could be involved. Any rumored trade packages involving the Blackhawks have Jones going out in a deal. Hawks fans have been frustrated with him based on being paid like a No. 1 defenseman while he skates as if he would rather be someplace on most nights.

Jones' offensive game struggled through the first three months of the season. Adding Jones might not help upgrade Toronto's blue line.

Why would the Leafs want to take on Seth's salary even if they got prospects and picks in return for Marner?

The Athletic had an interesting take regarding the Leafs rationalizing trading Marner for Jones along with some picks and prospects.

The belief is Jones still has value based on his ice time. He was fourth in the league with 25:29 and even if Alex Vlasic was the only true solid blueliner the Hawks had, it still says something to be on the ice that long regardless of the poor state of the Blackhawks. Jones can still play well on most nights, just not at the rate of being the highest-paid player on the team. Most importantly, he is trusted to be on the ice.

Being on a bad team may have worn Jones down to where he has not played consistently like the No. 1 defenseman he was thought to be when he signed that huge deal with the Hawks. A change of scenery and contending for a Stanley Cup could reinvigorate Jones.

He is signed through the rest of the decade at a slightly lower AAV than Marner. That means the Leafs can have a bit more balance on their higher-end cap hits regarding the forward and blue-line group.

It all just depends on how the Maple Leafs view Jones. Remember, Blackhawks fans, we have biases toward Seth based on how much money he makes. Other franchises may look at him and still see an All-Star player.