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Reporter Says Maple Leafs Looking for Jack Eichel-Type Trade

When answering why the Maple Leafs don’t just trade William Nylander or a legit defenseman, it was an Eichel-type of trade they want.

When asked why the Toronto Maple Leafs just don’t trade William Nylander for a legitimate defenseman, Mark Masters, who closely covers the Leafs responded that the situation is a lot more complicated than GM Brad Treliving making a one-for-one trade that would benefit both teams and fill a position of need for Toronto.

While a guest on the Got Yer’ Back podcast, Masters was asked by co-host Jason Strudwick why the team doesn’t just make a blockbuster deal that helps them and seems like the obvious answer to their problems, Masters responded, “At least for this coming season, Nylander is the best contract they got.” He adds, “He’s under $7 million and 40 goals.”

Masters suggests that might be why the Maple Leafs are willing to let this whole thing play out with Nylander and not rush into a trade. Because the forward is a solid value and because they expect that he could produce the same, if not more this coming season, removing him from the lineup, regardless of what it’s for would be a mistake. Masters says, “The belief with the Shana-Plan and this Leafs philosophy has been, if you have those four guys, then you’re going to have a chance every season and you’re in the playoffs, which they don’t want to take for granted.”

Treliving Will Be Looking for a Jack Eichel Type of Trade

Masters then notes that Brad Treliving will probably try to locate a massive trade and see if an opportunity were to arise somewhere throughout the season or maybe in the off-season. He called it a Jack Eichel-type trade.

What exactly does that mean? Is this meant to say the Leafs will ultimately make a trade they “need” to make? Does it also mean that the trade won’t be a one-for-one, but that they might move Nylander to pick up multiple pieces?

Jack Eichel William Nylander Maple Leafs trade rumors
Jack Eichel William Nylander Maple Leafs trade rumors

The idea presented by Masters here must be that Eichel was moved for a huge haul during the season. The trade saw the Sabres acquire Peyton Krebs and Alex Tuch, a top-10 protected 2022 first-round pick (Noah Östlund) and a 2023 second-round pick in exchange for Eichel and a 2023 third-round pick. It was a great deal for Vegas as they won the Stanley Cup in 2023. It was also a good deal for Buffalo as they picked up some really solid pieces and are now considered a young team on the rise with a very high potential ceiling.

Related: Truth to Rumors Linking Blues & Maple Leafs in Massive Trade?

Eichel was unhappy in Buffalo and wanted to be moved. He likely wasn’t going to sign he ultimately got what he wanted: a fresh beginning, a new city and fanbase, and the surgery he was looking to get that the Sabres wouldn’t approve. While Nylander’s specifics are different, he wants a certain amount of money, he likely wants to come out from the shadow of Auston Matthews and Mitch Marne and the Leafs could use a change, especially if the holding pattern with the core four doesn’t work.

Are Things Growing Toxic Between the Leafs and Nylander?

Towards the end of his run with the Sabres, the situation appeared to deteriorate significantly between Eichel and management. It created a toxic atmosphere that wasn’t beneficial for anyone. A year later, there has been a noticeable improvement for both parties, allowing everyone involved to move forward with a more positive outlook and fewer lingering issues. Are Toronto and Nylander approaching a similar place?

If Nylander continues to hold out and has a strong year, but the Leafs don’t see him in the same way they view Matthews and Marner, how long before this all goes south?

The Leafs might want to move Nylander for a handful of assets, but the question will be what he’s worth in a trade. If he has another monster season, perhaps the Maple Leafs are banking on it being quite a lot. Then again, he’ll be a pending UFA, so they’ll only have so much leverage unless they do a sign-and-trade.

Next: Toronto Maple Leafs: The Battle for the Top-Line Left-Wing Spot

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. 4EVER67

    September 16, 2023 at 8:03 am

    You have to believe that Tre has checked around the league to see if a deal could be had, at this time the return would be less than ideal. The best that we can hope for is either Nylander signing a reasonable deal or have a great start to the season and suitors start to lineup. But a one for one deal I just don’t see that happening unless it’s one heck of a defender coming back. Nylander is a 6.9mil player that’s probably owed less than half of that, so that’s got to be worth something, then if it’s a sign and trade that ups the value. So moving Nylander or signing him both options should be a priority. We keep hearing about his 40 goals, unless they feel that they can out score their opponents in the playoffs which hasn’t happened in seven seasons. So yeah a top defender could be the difference, if you’re D is strong, and goaltending holds up that could be the difference between winning and losing. The core four flops every playoffs, so maybe it’s time for a change and try a solid backend with good goaltending with a forward group of Mathews, Marner, JT, Bertuzzi, Domi, Knies, should still be able to get the job done without Nylander. Cheerz ?

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