Leafs’ Beef Recorded? NHL Insider Asks Toronto to Leak Audio

The Toronto Maple Leafs are entering Game 5 of their first-round series against the Boston Bruins in what could be the final contests in which the trio of Mitch Marner, William Nylander, and Auston Matthews play together as teammates.

Following another upsetting quartet of games to open the playoffs this season that saw Toronto fall 1-3 down to Boston, frustration boiled over on the bench of the Leafs on April 27 as the three aforementioned players had a heated exchange captured by the cameras and seen the world over.

Frustration has started to set in for the Maple Leafs stars 😠 pic.twitter.com/PbnQBNigKD

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 28, 2024

That little bench beef has led to an infinite amount of speculation in the last few hours.

One way to put a straight end to those rumors, rumblings, and conspiracy theories? Leaking the audio from the bench exchange, one that NHL insider Chris Johnston acknowledges was fully recorded and is available somewhere.

Analysts Think Maple Leafs Should Leak Bench Beef Audio

During a podcast episode published on April 29, NHL insiders Chris Johnston and Julian McKenzie discussed the Leafs’ postseason through Game 4 as Toronto faces the daunting task of coming back from a 1-3 deficit against Boston.

Johnston touched on the heated bench exchange between Marner, Nylander, and Matthews, and what the franchise should do next to avoid any more damage and distracting drama.

Wait, what!? RELEASE THE NYLANDER AUDIO! 😂 #CJShow #LeafsForever@reporterchris @jkamckenzie pic.twitter.com/NEcRdnHFj4

— sdpn (@sdpnsports) April 29, 2024

“The interesting part about that (bench) bickering, Julian, is that William Nylander was wearing a microphone on this night,” Johnston revealed to McKenzie on April 29. “I think it’s fair to assume given the sensitivity around that conversation that we’ll never hear that audio.

“But… what would that be worth if you could? I mean, you can read his lips enough that you have a pretty good idea of what he was saying, Johnston continued, “but wouldn’t you actually like to hear him say it?”

As many fans and amateur lipreaders pointed out upon watching the bench clip, it looks like Nylander seemed to tell Marner to “Stop (expletive) crying bro, this isn’t junior (hockey).”

Marner reacted to those words by removing and tossing his gloves in frustration, visibly agitated and furious about whatever was going on then and there.

“You might actually hear a little bit more about what else was being said back,” Johnston told McKenzie about what leaking the audio might mean if the Leafs walk that path.

“I have a reasonable idea of what Nylander was saying but I don’t know exactly what precipitated it…” Johnston said.

It is unlikely the Leafs, or anybody else for that matter, leak or get a clean recording of the bench exchange and release it. That being said, Johnston’s point would be an interesting way for the franchise to end all speculation quickly before playing a pivotal Game 5 on Tuesday, April 30.

That is, of course, assuming nothing was said that could put the team or the players in a bad position.

Will the Leafs Split Superstar Trio This Summer?

In the latest episode of the “32 Thoughts” podcast, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman offered his thoughts about the Leafs situation and the future of the team’s superstars, one he thinks will see at least one of them getting traded this summer.

“There’s only two ways to go,” Friedmann said on April 29. “One is you just completely falter, you fall apart and you go down quietly.

“Two, you rally (from 1-3 down in the first-round series against the Bruins) and you use it as a point where you come back and say, ‘Okay, we hit rock bottom; now, we’re going to prove we’re on the way back.’ And there really is no other option for them than to do that because this is the end for this group if they don’t pull off the big comeback here.”

“We’re not yelling at each other because we hate each other. We just want to be all on the same page to help each other out.”

Mitch Marner on the Maple Leafs showing frustration on the bench during Game 4. pic.twitter.com/OSIQePEsA6

— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) April 28, 2024

Marner talked about the argument in his postgame press conference following the Game 4 loss on Saturday, April 27. He didn’t reveal what was said.

“We’re not yelling at each other because we hate each other,” Marner said. “We just want to be all on the same page to help each other out. We’re grown men, we just want to talk about plays to make sure we’re 100% on and know what we’re doing.”

Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe was asked about it on Sunday, one day after losing to the Bruins and falling down 1-3 in the first-round series. He didn’t sound very worried about it.

“I look at it as something that happens when things aren’t going well,” Keefe told reporters on Sunday, April 28. “In the past, quite honestly, that wouldn’t have happened. Guys wouldn’t have talked it out, wouldn’t have, you want to call it arguing it out, that wouldn’t have happened.

“I look at that as progress and those guys care.”

The Leafs face the Bruins in a win-or-go-home matchup on Tuesday, April 30, taking place in Boston. The Bruins lead the series 3-1 and only need one more win in the remaining three games to clinch a place in the second round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs.

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