Photo credit:Nick Turchiaro-USA TODAY Sports
LeBrun: Maple Leafs and Nylander made a pact to prevent leaks from contract talks
By Alex Hobson3 months ago
The Toronto Maple Leafs are in Sweden right now and William Nylander, much like he has been all season, is the star of the show. The 27-year-old is showing his team’s faithful what he looks like in his prime, currently leading the Leafs in points and sitting top-10 in NHL scoring with ten goals and 22 points in 15 games. Oh..did I mention he’s got an ongoing franchise record-setting point streak to start the season?
Nylander has given Leafs fans a world of things to cheer for this season, and really ever since he was public enemy number one for his original contract holdout. And ironically enough, the topic of contracts is what’s preventing fans from enjoying Nylander’s success to the fullest degree. The Swedish star is an unrestricted free agent (UFA) at the end of the season, and general manager Brad Treliving is in the process of negotiating a new deal for him.
This is going to come off as a nothing update, so if you’re looking for something with a bunch of substance to it, you probably don’t need to read further. But, we don’t get these updates often, so as long as insiders are bringing them to us, we’re going to keep bringing them to you.
TSN’s Pierre LeBrun joined Insider Trading yesterday afternoon and reaffirmed that contract negotiations are still ongoing, with open dialogue, despite the fact that not a lot of information has gotten out there. Here’s what he had to say:
“I think people should be careful reading into it, the thing about it is that it’s been quiet by design. Both sides made a pact before the season started, they did not want any leaks whatsoever, both sides wanted to be tight-lipped and that’s exactly the way it’s played out so far. The reality is, if this thing had gone off the rails, you probably would be hearing more, because we’d get some message-sending from one side or the other. The reality is, the dialogue is ongoing, both sides keep going back and forth, they hope to get something done between now and July 1st. But it’s a difficult contract to get done.”
While the Leafs will certainly take everything they’ve gotten from Nylander and then some, you can’t help but feel a little bit of a nag in the back of your mind every time he extends his streak or scores a goal. He’s already been putting in work for the past few years to prove that he deserves to have his name in the same conversation as players like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, but this season he’s somehow taken another huge step forward.
Between the Leafs, the Ottawa Senators, the Detroit Red Wings, and the Minnesota Wild, all four teams in attendance at the Global Series, Nylander is far and away the biggest Swedish name, but it also helps that the Leafs have the connection to Borje Salming going for them. Nylander has been treated like a literal celebrity since returning to his home country, between sampling Swedish candy with his teammates, answering questions from inspired children in the media scrum, and having to buy up to 100 tickets for friends and family to see him in person. This includes his grandmother, who has never seen him play live before.
If you’re a Leafs fan and worried about the possibility of a Nylander-less Leafs team in the future, I’d zero in on the back half of LeBrun’s quote and focus on the part about what would be happening if there were issues with the negotiations. While it can certainly be nerve-wracking not hearing anything, getting no updates is better than getting negative updates.
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