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Insider Says Maple Leafs Sweating to Close Nylander Contract

The Maple Leafs face a critical point with William Nylander’s contract talks, as negotiations hit a sizable gap, raising trade possibilities.

In the ongoing contract negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander, there is no immediate deadline for a resolution. That doesn’t mean there isn’t pressure to get something done. While Nylander’s modified no-trade clause is set to kick in, Pierre LeBrun of TSN and The Athletic notes it is not seen as a strict requirement for him to be signed or traded by the July 1 date, according to GM Brad Treliving. That is when Nylander’s modified no-trade kicks in. While that may not be a concern, there is a sense of urgency to reach a resolution soon so that the Leafs can address other roster decisions.

The main challenge in the contract talks is the significant gap between Nylander’s contract demands and what the Leafs are willing to offer for an extension. According to reports, the two sides aren’t close. Despite this, the Leafs remain committed to finding a path toward a contract extension and are determined to continue negotiations.

If a middle ground can’t be found, trading Nylander appears to be a potential solution. But, that won’t necessarily be easy either. LeBrun reported that the lack of trades during this year’s draft was alarming and it speaks to the market. Good players were dumped for nothing and while Nylander is not the kind of player that won’t fetch a solid return, trading him might not equate to a home run. The same issue potentially exists in Winnipeg where the Jets are having trouble finding a suitable return for Vezina-caliber goaltender Connor Hellbuyck.

William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs NHL
William Nylander Toronto Maple Leafs NHL

The current NHL landscape presents challenges as many teams are facing cap constraints and struggling to move money. The trade market for Nylander is not as robust as anticipated, as any team acquiring him would likely require an extension. And, again, Nylander appears to want big money on an extension and teams will be leery of that.

What About a Replacement for Nylander?

Potentially moving Nylander poses another issue. If the Leafs were to trade the forward, they would also need to consider how to fill the void of his offensive production. This adds another layer of complexity to the situation and puts the Leafs in a difficult position with a timeline to get the right piece before all good options are scooped up in free agency or other trades.

The coming week will be crucial in determining the future of William Nylander with the Maple Leafs. Both parties will continue to negotiate in the hopes of finding common ground and securing a contract that satisfies both Nylander and the team. The Leafs face the challenge of balancing their desire to retain Nylander’s talent with the need to maintain financial flexibility and build a competitive roster. They have a desire to sign him, but it must be at a deal that aligns with their financial considerations.

Next: Oilers Trades Puts Team In “Driver’s Seat” to Sign Connor Brown

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Steve

    June 29, 2023 at 7:22 pm

    It’s a crying shame that the mightly Leafs learned absolutely nothing from the last time they were in this boat with Nylander (and his agent Lewis Gross). He is loyal to no-one but himself and couldn’t care less if he is helping or hurting this team. Nylander loves it here because he can play the one-sided game he plays and still be valued even as the team disintegrates around him.

    We’ve had plenty of opportunity over the last two years to trade this ingrate but insisted on hanging on to him instead. Look where we are now! If July 1st passes with no reasonable deal or trade, the idiotic Leafs management has no-one to blame but themselves. Both the team and its long suffering fans will pay the price.

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