William Nylander is one of the best young players in the game. He’s only 22-years-old and the forward has scored over 20 or more goals and had 61 points over the last two seasons.
Since July 1, Nylander has been stuck in a contract impasse with the Toronto Maple Leafs. Lewis Gross and his father, former Capital Michael Nylander, are his agents.
The restricted free agent has until December 1 to sign a deal or will be ineligible to play in the NHL this season.
Saturday, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman gave an update on the situation.
Friedman reported that the Leafs still would like to sign Nylander, but are preparing for a worst-case scenario. Leafs GM Kyle Dubas is reportedly taking offers and getting information on who and who is not available as the Leafs prepare to make their final pitch in the next 20 days.
There is word tonight TOR has asked teams to indicate what they would offer — and will not trade — for William Nylander. Still think their first choice is to sign him, but we have entered the next stage, with 20 days until the deadline.
— Elliotte Friedman (@FriedgeHNIC) November 11, 2018
All of the Sportsnet insiders, including Friedman talked about Nylander situation on their second intermission Headlines rountable during Hockey Night In Canada.
Elliotte Friedman: I still think the Toronto Maple Leafs’ goal is to sign him, but they’re at a point where they’re beginning to test the market. Word is that they have asked teams to inform them who the teams and interested parties will not be willing to move, and also to begin preparing formal offers for unsigned Toronto winger.
I did ask the GM, Kyle Dubas, if this was accurate and he declined comment. But to our information, that is where we are at this point. The next phase is beginning.
Nick Kypreos: I’m hearing the priority still is to sign him. The talks are ongoing. Some have suggested to me that that the Leafs may be willing to go to the Pastrnak contract, which is just around $40 million, over six years. My understanding, though, is that that isn’t an official offer as of just yet. But we do believe that if the Leafs are going to make a short-term deal, it might not come until the end of November in the last minute. A lot of suggestions are saying that number would have to be around $18 million for three years, but right now, still no traction.
Chris Johnston: History tells us that it is likely to end up this way. William Nylander is the 21st player in the last nine years to go through this process beyond October without a contract as a group-2 player. Only one went longer than him — that was Kyle Turris in 2011. He signed with Arizona, but a few weeks later, was traded to Ottawa. There isn’t much recent history of RFAs getting this deep into the process and making a deal to stay with the team.
Nick Kypreos: Just on a side note: Still no meaningful contract negotiations with Matthews or Marner. It doesn’t appear to be a top priority just yet for the Leafs.
While the holding out will get Nylander top dollar, the affable forward may never be seen the same by Leafs fans moving forward.
— Sportsnet (@Sportsnet) November 11, 2018
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