April 20, 2024

Marner was excited to reunite with Domi on the Maple Leafs

The gritty Domi’s July 3 signing of a one-year deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs was a big move in the city where his dad, Tie, was a big fan while playing for the same organization from 1995-2006. As a boy, Max would often be seen in the Maple Leafs dressing room being mentored by the likes of Mats Sundin, Curtis Joseph and Tomas Kaberle.

For Marner, it’s a reunion of two players who helped London of the Ontario Hockey League become a dominant force from 2013-15.

“It’s amazing,” Marner told NHL.com at the recent 2023 Marner All-Star Invitational charity event. “Max is a great player. But, just as importantly, he is a [heck] someone from the ice too. I personally saw it in junior matters in both of those cases. And it will be great for our team to have someone like that.”

The 2014-15 regular season showcased the talents of both players, who finished in the top 10 in OHL scoring with 226 points. Marner finished second with 124 (42 goals, 82 assists), three goals for Erie Dylan Strom; Domi was ninth with 102 (32 goals, 70 goals).

Domi also had 66 penalty minutes that season, showing that his game had muscle as well as hustle. Marner is an ingredient that Domi said and other free agent additions Tyler Bertuzzi and Ryan Reaves brought to the Maple Leafs.

“All those guys bring different aspects to the team but they’re all good on the walls,” he said. “Max’s playmaking ability should fit our system very well because of the way he plays the game, so we’re very impressed with him. We’re excited to see how he works with our team.

“It should be a lot of fun.”

In a 1-on-1 interview with NHL.com, the 26-year-old discussed Toronto’s five-game elimination to the Florida Panthers in the Eastern Conference Second Round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs, the departure of general manager Kyle Dubas and the arrival of center Brad Treliving; his appearance on stage with country music star Shania Twain; taking ball hockey shots with Red Bull Formula 1 race car driver Max Verstappen; his upcoming wedding; and his charity work.

Can you discuss how Max, Tyler and Ryan help create a new look for the team?

“The thing is, obviously we brought in a lot of guys who throw their weight around, who aren’t afraid to go to dirty areas and do some crazy things out there. So we’re excited. All three guys have an impact on the game. And it gives us some flexibility in the lineup.”

How big was last season, considering your elimination of the Tampa Bay Lightning in the Eastern Conference First Round was the team’s first series win since 2004? And, at the same time, how much is it like, since the team again came up short in their quest for the Stanley Cup?

“It can go both ways. I mean, of course we took a step in the right direction. But it’s still disappointing that you didn’t go almost as far as you think you can go with your talent. It happens sometimes. There’s nothing you can do about it now. So for us, or at least me, it’s just about getting back into the rhythm of things, getting my body ready to try to play another full season, and a lot of minutes.”

Much was made to see if there was a so-called ‘Core Four’ Austin Matthews, William Nylander, Sean Tavares and you should break yourself up because of perceived postseason failures by the group. Treliving doesn’t seem to want to break up the band, even though Auston and William are entering the final year of their contracts. Rightly or wrongly, how do the four of you deal with such responsibility and, hand in hand with that, the blame you may face when expectations are not met?

“Look, we want to take a lot of responsibility. Yeah, we definitely have a lot of weight on our shoulders, but it’s definitely a team sport and we want a lot with what we do on the ice.

You were recently asked if you could assist with the contract negotiations involving Auston and William (if asked). You emphasized that they are your friends, first and foremost. Talk about your relationship with them.

“I’m sure a friend before a teammate. The two guys, their friendship means a lot to me. I’m looking forward to having them both at the wedding and having a good time with them. It’s clear that there is a business aspect to our lives and we hope that everything works out. Both of them have a lot of passion and love for our team and know that we can do something special here. But if I don’t need to be really just join my friend. talking about anything hockey is too much for them. it’s more about how they’re doing. How was your summer? How’s life?”

You grew up in the Toronto area so you know everything that goes hand in hand with playing in the hockey fishbowl here. Even after producing 554 points (168 goals, 386 assists) in 507 games with the Maple Leafs, some critics still think you should be traded. Do things like that affect your enthusiasm to play for your hometown team?

“I think you can see the excitement and how much enjoyment I have, whether it’s having fun around the rink or just wearing that jersey. I know there are more lovers than haters out there. Much more. The haters are just louder. There’s nothing you can really do about that. There are people who are friends to your face but say a lot of things behind it. So, for me, what I love is to know everyone else. he has a lot of confidence in the guy next to him and the guy over there. We have a lot of joy and excitement in our locker room and that’s what keeps you going.”

What is your take on how Brad Treliving has fared during his short tenure as GM?

“He’s done a great job so far. It’s a new direction and we’re all excited to progress and see how he plays.”

A couple of high-profile teammates, John Tavares and Morgan Reilly, took time out to get on the ice with the kids as part of the Marner All-Star Celebrity Invitational. This is the fifth year of the event. The money goes to the Marner Assist Foundation, which aims to help children’s lives including social care, health and children’s education. You have always had a soft spot for helping children going back to when you would make hospital visits to see them during your days in London. How special is this to you?

“It is something that involves a lot of passion, a lot of joy. It is something I always look forward to. Lucky that we are able to do it.”

This event is part of a busy summer for you, where you and your fiance Stephanie LaChance were joined on stage by country music star Shania Twain during a show here in Toronto last month. You were there with a young man who won a competition through the Marner Assist Foundation, and Twain’s charity, Shania Kids Can. You sent Shania a note saying how much of a fan Stephanie was. How cool was that experience?

“Definitely a very cool moment. Shania is a Canadian icon. At first, it was just the two charities trying to do something together. And luckily, we were able to do something with her charity as it was with us. We were lucky that it all worked out. And then, we just realized that we’re going to the concert and we thought there was nothing else. It was joy.” her. Something we will both remember for the rest of our lives.”

Less than a week before the Shania show you were at the Formula 1 Canadian Grand Prix in Montreal, presenting Red Bull drivers Max Verstappen and Sergio Perez with Maple Leafs jerseys and teaching them how to shoot on net. Verstappen looks to be on his way to another drivers’ championship. How was that experience?

“The guys were great. I was really surprised by how relaxed and calm they are. Really great people. I didn’t know what it would be like on a race weekend other than it’s very stressful. So, it was cool for them to take time out of their busy schedule, because, especially for the guys, everything is important. Minute to minute. So, it was just very cool to sit down with each of them, to listen to the extent of their experiences right enough Max unbelvi. . Another great moment.”

Finally, you have one more for those coming up: your wedding.

“Very excited. We’ve had a lot of fun planning. We’re going to have a lot of fun that day and that whole weekend. So we’re looking forward to celebrating with family and friends and you know, at [heck] a while.”

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *