Headlines: Nylander on the way up, Cowen likely to be traded again, and the Reimer deal

Tonight on Hockey Night’s “Saturday Headlines” feature, Damien Cox and Elliotte Friedman dropped some knowledge about what’s been a busy week for the Leafs, and what we might see from them in the days ahead. Now that we’re in the home stretch of deadline mania, here are some of the things you need to know.

First off, there’s been a lot of debate over the Reimer deal this afternoon, and whether Lamoriello and his crew should have brought back more in return to Toronto. A lot of people were disappointed. As Cox noted this evening, it appears as though there was only one team – the Sharks, of course – who were ever in trade negotiations with the Leafs for the 27-year-old goaltender. We’ve said a few times the goalie market is flushed, but maybe we didn’t realize at what level until now.

Also, it was pointed out that Reimer’s ask in contract negotiations with the Leafs (he’s a UFA this summer, remember) was shot down quickly when he apparently asked for up to $6-million annually. The Leafs then made the decision to move him and try to nab a draft pick. [Though we have to note Reimer’s agent has disputed that claim from Cox. We’ll see how this plays out.]

Jared Cowen’s time in Toronto looks like it’s coming to an end as quickly as it began. There have been rumblings of the Leafs trying to move him before the deadline, and as Chris Johnston of Sportnet pointed out this week, his contract structure offers some cap-strapped teams additional relief next season in a buyout situation. The fellas on Headlines tonight believe he’ll be moved by Monday, potentially to the Hawks in a swap that could include Bryan Bickell. Just two teams helping each other out by moving some dead money around.

Lastly – and this is big – Cox dropped the bomb that the Leafs are going to be bringing up William Nylander after the deadline, and he’ll finish out the regular season in the NHL.


This would knock a year off his entry-level contract, but as a few folks have pointed out in the past, his UFA status down the road stays unchanged by staying under the 40-game limit. Two benefits for the Leafs here would be Nylander negotiating his next contract with less development time in, and staggers his and Marner’s negotiating years. Sounds like the team is going to go down that road.

  • Gary Empey

    Worrying about how we can save a few bucks by being cheap with our futures stars is short-sighted. If we don’t want to pay them what their worth then just keep signing UFA’s.

    • Jeremy Ian

      Not sure this is about saving bucks as much as spreading them. If you have contracts maturing in alternating years, it’s easy to manage the payroll than if everything is due at the same time.

      • magesticRAGE

        Absolutely. If not, we’ll get in the Tampa type trouble and possibly see their franchise player walk for nothing. This is why Lou is spreading out the received picks throughout multiple drafts.

    • Harte of a Lion

      Hearing that the KHL is willing to pay Nylander 3 times the $ figure that he would make on ELC.

      If that is case he will be in Russia next year.

      Thanks to Bettman & his stupid cap.

    • FlareKnight

      It’s short-sighted not to think about the future cap situation and managing it. A major reason you build through the draft is because young players on entry level contracts are cheap and affordable to fit under the cap. Spreading out those contracts gives you flexibility and that is important.

      Where in any of this are the Leafs not paying players what they are worth? It’s called asset management. Kind of important if you actually want the team to win.

      • Gary Empey

        @Jeremy Ian, The so called asset management regarding two players expected to join the Leafs in the future, I read as figuring out ways we can have these players on the team for the cheapest way we can. Not bringing Nylander up to the NHL, even though he is ready, just so we can save money on his contract down the road is cheap. We expect undying loyalty from the players but at the same-time management is never expected to be loyal in return.

        Anyways when talking about the Leafs “asset management” is an oxymoron. It should be called “disaster management”. After all we have become the worst team in the NHL, bar none.

  • Harte of a Lion

    Damien Cox doesn’t have a clue. Why would he get an insider tip at this time? That’s not how management runs things anymore.

    I’m sure he will get a taste of NHL action but the goal for the organization is for the Marlies to win the Calder then bring up the important pieces to continue the winning as Tampa did.

  • JB#1

    Quelle surprise mes amis. As if anyone didn’t realize that with the leafs tank running full throttle that the leafs would try to bring a little spice into the line up to entice intelligent leaf fans to watch our new A.H.L. team wearing the Maple leaf jersey. Of course Nylander is coming up.

    Look, most of us want the tank but the money grubbing M.L.S.E. also knows it is still hemorhaging big time as Rogers takes a double loss of partially owning the leafs and taking a big bath with their 5.2 billion t.v. contract. Just wait when all Canadian teams are eliminated and dart throwing will have a higher t.v. rating.

    Nylander and the current Marlies will simply be sent across the street to play for the Marlies in the playoffs.

  • JB#1

    I just don’t see any hockey benefit to bringing Nylander up this year. Staggering his contract with marner doesn’t make any sense as they’ll still compete for cap space.

    Why not keep him down to win with the Marlies than to have his confidence destroyed playing with the leafs.

    If you’re going to tank then tank.

    What a terrible trade deadline this is so far. You better pull a rabbit out of your hat soon Lou.

    By the way how can Edmonton have fewer points in more games than the Leafs with all the 1st round picks and Connor McDavid, and the leafs are actually trying to tank?!

  • JB#1

    What happens with Nylander in the next little while will give us fans something to speculate over for months.

    If they bring him up after the deadline and leave him up for the season, then it seems ownership has wrested some control back from Shanny and insisted on this to try and bump the ratings back up a bit.

    If he comes up for a few games, as I think he should, to get his feet wet to see what the level of competition is like at the NHL level, then Shanny and Co. still have full control and the rebuild is still on track.

    I think Shanny and Co. want to reward some of the Marlies with a taste of the NHL but I think they want them to all be back with the Marlies for hopefully a long and ultimately successful Calder Cup run. They’ve managed to assemble the best team in the AHL, why would’t they want to start breeding the winning culture down there with those players and then start bringing them up full-time next year?

  • magesticRAGE

    only way I’ll watch the leafs for the rest of the season is if nylander comes up. I can’t wait!!! this is so exciting!! well deserved. will he get to go to the Calder cup playoffs if he spends the rest of the year in the nhl?!

  • magesticRAGE

    cox has no source in this new management. the agent denied it and even if it were true, cox would be the last to get that scoop. Lou never leaks info so it’s definitely false.

  • JB#1

    Me, I’d bring Nylander up mid march and play him in 9 games. This is a business and the leafs doing what i propose is just business – i don’t see William getting his knickers in a knot for only playing 9 nhl games in his draft +2 year.

    Having Marner and Nylander coming off their ELC’s at the sane time can be beneficial as the team can chat their cap accordingly building the base for the ensuing years with (hopefully) our version of Toews/Kane locked up…fill in the blanks afterwards.

    Nylander is having a great season and he means more to the Marlies than the leafs in every way besides ratings. If they are supposedly doing the right thing being patient with this rebuild than we’ll see him in mid march…if ownership wants ratings we’ll see him next week.