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Did Mitch Marner hire security and refuse to speak to some reporters?

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It appears Mitch Marner isn’t handling the Toronto Maple Leafs first-round playoff exit well.

The alternate captain for the team, Marner had a quieter than expected performance against Boston, tallying just three points across the seven game series.

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Despite the tepid level of production, Marner reportedly isn’t interested in being asked hard questions about it. According to The Leaf Report podcast, Marner has hired private security and is refusing to speak with some members of the media.

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“Regular season, he’s been a great, great player, and I think we’ve written that. But there’s such a sensitivity there. And, so you hear about all these feuds going on, and you hear about he’s got private security people that harass media people, and there’s just, there’s really weird stuff that’s going on,” reporter James Mirtle of The Athletic said on the podcast on Tuesday, via Maple Leafs Daily.

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Mirtle added that a number of topics are off limits when interviewing Marner and the pool of reporters who he’ll field questions from has shrunk and no longer includes himself.

The Markham, Ont., native inked a six-year deal with Toronto in 2019 worth more than $65 million and has been viewed as one of the building blocks of the franchise, but his most recent playoff performance has led to trade speculation.

Both Marner and captain John Tavares will become unrestricted free agents after the 2024-25 season, while the two other members of the Leafs “core four” — Auston Matthews and William Nylander — remain under long term contracts.

On Monday, as the players cleaned out their lockers, Marner, 27, stuck his foot in his mouth. While explaining that it “means the world” to play in Toronto, he added that the players are “looked upon as gods.”

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“Something you really appreciate, the love that you get here from this fan base and this attention is kind of unlike any other,” Marner said in the media scrum.

The comment quickly gained traction online, with social media users still stinging from the playoff loss urging Marner to “read the room.”

“Mitch Marner saying ‘we’re looked upon as kind of Gods here to be honest’ — even if it’s true — is one of the worst Room Readings any fan base has ever seen,” one fan posted on X. “Read the room, guy.”

“This is the sort of quote that belies the media training most hockey stars begin receiving long before they become professionals,” added TSN reporter Rick Westhead, while sharing a video of the comment.

As for another season ending early, Marner said, plainly, “it sucks.”

“It’s all the same (…) pain to be honest. It’s never fun going home early. Never gets easier.”

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