DeBrincat’s contract in Detroit shouldn’t impact Nylander’s with the Maple Leafs

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
11 months ago
Contrary to popular belief, the number Alex DeBrincat signed for should have little to no bearing on the terms of William Nylander’s next contract.
Unsurprisingly, the first thing many people did, especially in this market, was try their darnedest to draw similarities to the two situations.
But ultimately, it would be incorrect do so.
For starters, by all accounts, Alex DeBrincat, who’s a Michigan native, wanted to be a Detroit Red Wing. In essence, if that truly were the case, it took away a lot of his bargaining power in prospective contract negotiations with Detroit. From the beginning of his tenure as general manager, Steve Yzerman has been steadfast in stating that he’s not a big fan of long-term deals. If DeBrincat was going to get seven or eight years, it was very unlikely from the onset that it was going to be the Red Wings to give him that. And presumably, I’m sure he and his camp were well aware of that as they proceeded in talks. They had to give in, or run the risk of going elsewhere.
In the end, if DeBrincat was going to finally go home, it was always going to be on Detroit’s terms, not his. That’s why what the Senators received in the trade was underwhelming, and that’s why the extension looked like it did too. No team was going to give up the assets to land the 25-year-old sniper without first agreeing to a contract extension.
Steve Yzerman had all the power.
When it comes to Nylander, the story’s a little bit different. Unfortunately, he holds a lot of the power —unless he truly means it when he says there’s no other place he rather be.
Whether we want to admit it or not, the Nylander camp will dictate most of what’s to come next in this classic stare down. Any way you slice, he has a contract in place for next season and is now less than a year away from unrestricted free agency. He can call his shot, and if the Leafs say “no,” he can simply wait and test the waters on July 1, 2024. The negotiation will rage on, but when push comes to shove, there will have to be some reservations from his side if this deal’s going to get done.
The two situations are not the same.

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