Is it the beginning of the end for William Nylander in Toronto?

Photo credit:Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports
Nick Alberga
11 months ago
Cancel your Canada Day long weekend plans, things could get mighty interesting in Leafs Nation very, very soon.
While it’s important to stress that things can change on a whim in the NHL world, according to multiple reports post-draft on Thursday, William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs are not close on a contract extension.
Furthermore, news leaked that the Nylander camp is currently looking for a higher price than the Leafs are willing to pay right now. Surprise, surprise.
Is this shocking information? Well, especially when you consider some of the signings around the league recently, not really.
That said, I’m always careful to believe everything I hear and see this time of year. Call me a conspiracy theorist but I think that news got out there for a reason. More times than not, it’s very normal to see an element of public posturing —especially when it’s the high-profile names at play.

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And so, we’re here. Free agency is set to begin in earnest, and as expected, the chess match of the century is underway. Who will blink first?
For my money, if I’m Brad Treliving and company, there’s not really a deadline to get this deal done here. Yes, Nylander’s 10-team no-trade kick is set to kick in on Saturday, but considering his desired price tag, how many teams could truly get in the derby anyway if Toronto decided to move on? The answer’s not many —not in this salary cap world.
At this point, you would think the Leafs have done enough due diligence to know what they could potentially command in a trade. Personally, I still think there’s plenty of time to salvage this. It’s the ultimate game of chicken right now.
In the long run, I think both sides will find a way to get this done. For my money, there’s been too much optimism surrounding this situation for all this to suddenly just fall apart.
They’ll continue to grind away on it.
Stay tuned.

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