The Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander have now decided on bringing their stalemate entirely down to the wire.
You’ve watched The Office before, right? Since every person on Earth, at least the conscious ones, have more or less seen an episode at some point, I’ll just assume your answer is yes.
Remember when Michael Scott first started dating Holly Flax? It was beautiful, wasn’t it?
Theirs was a passionate romance. Fraught with buildup and underlined by prior disappointment, Michael and Holly quickly blossomed into what many saw to be a perfect pairing.
Holly elevated Michael. As both a character and a person, her partnership gave him an outlet through which he could indulge in his more ludicrous whims and, in turn, be reigned in upon instances when a line was crossed.
Michael elevated Holly, too. His infectious charm and carefree worldview awoke within her a dormant nerd, affording her an appreciation of the paper business’s day-to-day monotony.
With Michael, Holly could have fun.
Do you remember, then, when Holly moved away? She was forced to, really – a casualty of Dunder Mifflin’s overly strict and truly unfair corporate guidelines. The two initially thought they could make it work and even tried valiantly to do so.
But with a chasm of distance now wedged between them, Michael and Holly broke up.
Michael returned to Scranton. Business carried on as usual.
Only, something was missing. Holly was missing. And no matter which direction Michael tried to spin it, no matter how well his branch continued to perform, nothing would ever fill that hole in his life left by Holly.
Suddenly, out of the blue, Holly was transferred back to Scranton. And with her came a new boyfriend. And with that new boyfriend came a host of the pair’s ongoing commitment issues.
Michael, naturally, was elated. For after months of hopelessness, soon bordering on an acceptance that he had lost his best shot at happiness, Michael had a chance. That’s all he needed.
Holly, feeling conflicted and growing weary of a life without commitment, gave her boyfriend an ultimatum; either propose by New Year’s or they would break up.
How did Michael plan for one of the biggest moments of his life? Well…
Leafs fans, this is William Nylander‘s ultimatum.
Roughly 24 hours are all that stands between now and December 1st – the deadline for when the Nylander camp will have either come to terms on a new deal with the Leafs or opted to continue their holdout into the offseason, bringing the 22-year-old’s brief albeit successful tenure in Toronto to an assured end.
Leafs fans, you are Michael Scott.
Having finally found someone whose mere presence washed away years of emotional torment and whose potential garnered up images of a bright future, he was subsequently torn from your grasp due to circumstances completely outside of your control. Sure, Leafs fans, you have watched your team thrive in the months following your blonde soulmate’s absence.
But hasn’t something felt missing? That something is Willy.
Is the most likely outcome a positive one? Absolutely. It’s hard to believe that an agent would willingly forfeit a prime season of his client’s over the difference of ultimately a few million dollars.
Then again, nothing is set in stone. Like it or not, a reality in which William Nylander never again dons a Maple Leaf is all too real and, as such, must be prepared for.
Leafs fans, these are your happy and sad boxes.
You’re angry. You’re confused.
Most of all, however, you can’t help but wonder how this situation ever reached its current point. The Leafs and Nylander were a perfect pair. Why did it end in a nightmare?
To compensate, you remember the good times.
Like in 2016, when Willy slid the puck past an outstretched Braden Holtby to tie a playoff game and, in turn, force an old man to pump his fist in respect. Or your first date, when he swept you off your feet by sneaking into the slot and rifling a perfectly placed shot top corner, as he would proceed to do for you so many times after.
What you need to remember is that all breakups happen for a reason. And sometimes, those reasons rest entirely in grey areas. Sometimes, there is no bad guy.
Dunder Mifflin the NHL forced Nylander to leave, with strict corporate guidelines a Collective Bargaining Agreement that left him little choice in the matter. Willy didn’t want to hurt you. In fact, as you’ll have heard from his friends on numerous occasions, all he ever wanted was to stay.
But that only deepens the hurt.
You’ll likely feel the urge to lash out at Nylander as well – accusing him of lacking appreciation for what he had all along and calling him greedy for ever wanting more. And while it certainly would be easy to do this, and might even feel pretty good too, it’s not entirely fair.
Willy has a life to live. A life which has only just begun and, like it or not, will continue regardless of whether you happen to be in it or not.
Is he greedy for trying to secure the best possible future for himself in a world where stability is often snuffed out in an instant? Is he greedy for seeking protection while working under the leadership of an employer who has, time and time again, proven entirely unwilling to do the same for their employees?
No. He isn’t. If anything, he’ll be acting like the responsible adult you’ve always wanted.
Maybe you won’t remember any of those things. Maybe you’ll actively try not to. But, if nothing else, at least remember this; life goes on.
You will find someone new. Someone who enriches you in a way Willy never could. Someone with things to give you that Willy had always lacked. Perhaps, in fact, that someone could even hail from your own hometown.
And with that closure, soon will come peace.
Sure, you’ll inevitably run into Willy once or twice a year. And, honestly, that might even be for the best. He’ll see that you’re happy. You’ll see that he’s happy. And the two of you can look back upon your time together, remembering it fondly.
Screw that! WILLY’S BACK, Y’ALL!!!!!
Champagne showers for everyone!! Woooooooooo!!!!! We’re never gonna die!
Thanks for reading!