Brad Treliving confirms William Nylander’s contract extension is ‘next on the list’
Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
By Shane Seney8 days ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs are gearing up for the 2023-24 season and a number of players are already in Toronto, getting a head start on training camp. The informal skates are a great chance for players to get comfortable with one another and start getting their legs into game shape.
Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving will be paying close attention, as he looks to evaluate the team attending his first camp. Treliving met with Pierre LeBrun of TSN recently and while the Auston Matthews contract extension is now complete, Treliving confirmed, William Nylander’s is next up.
Treliving mentioned “Willy is a really important player and a really good player, and we want to get him done, too. That’s next on the list. I’m not going to get into the play-by-play of it other than to say he’s a very good player and you always want to keep the good players. And he’s told me he wants to be in Toronto. That’s the most important thing. If there’s a desire on both sides, then you should be able to come to an agreement. But these things take time. They’re all their own independent deals, and they have their own ebbs and flows.
The great news for Leafs Nation here is the fact Nylander has confirmed multiple times he’d like to stay in Toronto. He took what is now quite the pay cut on his first extension with Kyle Dubas so this time around will be a little trickier for Treliving to get pen to paper.
Nylander had himself a career season in 2022-23, recording 40 goals and 87 points in 82 games. There’s no reason not to expect this type of production and even potentially more this season as Nylander continues to develop his game and could find himself skating alongside Tyler Bertuzzi and Auston Matthews on the Leafs top line.
Training camp opens on September 20 and Nylander will be ready to go. He’s making just $6.9 million against the Leafs’ cap this season and is a pending unrestricted free agent. He’s admitted while he heard the trade rumors running wild earlier in the summer once Dubas was let go and Treliving was brought in, the noise doesn’t bother him at all. Which is one of the many reasons he’s the perfect type of player to play for the Maple Leafs in this day and age.
From the sounds of it, there is still quite the gap when it comes to average annual value on the upcoming extension as the Leafs are believed to want to keep the AAV under $9.5 million, meanwhile Nylander’s camp is likely shooting for $10 million with the initial talks. The NHL’s salary cap is expected to jump over the course of the next three seasons, quite significantly, so Toronto should have more room than you might think financially moving forward.
Should Treliving Listen to Trade Offers?
Of course listen, because that’s a GM’s job. But at no point this summer or now, has Treliving ‘shopped’ Nylander around to the highest bidder. From the sounds of it, all talks have been exploratory and none have moved to an advanced stage.
Toronto’s expected to be one of the best teams in the league during the 2023-24 regular season, so it’s going to take a very random off year for Nylander to have his new GM shopping him around. IF and a HUGE IF Nylander does get dealt this season, which honestly seems about a 1% chance at this point, it will likely be for a big-bodied bruising defenseman with term on their contract.
For now, Nylander stays and will likely be staying for a long time as a Maple Leaf. The player doesn’t want to play anywhere else and the GM wants to get a deal done. It’s a great recipe for an eight-year term at $9.25 million per season. Now we wait to see we’re all on the same page.
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