In Reality the Toronto Maple Leafs “Big Four” Are Underpaid

TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 7: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his gaol against the St. Louis Blues with teammate Auston Matthews #34 during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 7, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - OCTOBER 7: William Nylander #88 of the Toronto Maple Leafs celebrates his gaol against the St. Louis Blues with teammate Auston Matthews #34 during the second period at the Scotiabank Arena on October 7, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. (Photo by Kevin Sousa/NHLI via Getty Images) /
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TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 and William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON – FEBRUARY 10: Mitchell Marner #16 and William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs . (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

Mitch Marner

Salary: $10.893 million

Comparable Salary: Patrick Kane – $10.5 million

Patrick Kane has three Stanley Cups, a Hart and Art Ross Trophy and is making less than Marner? How is that possible?

Well, it’s pretty simple. To compare the player’s first four seasons, Kane averaged 0.95 points per game with 303 points in 317 games, while Marner is averaging 0.97 points per game with 291 points in 300 games.

Both Kane and Marner play right-wing, played junior hockey with the London Knights and have a similar style. As undersized players, they’re able to use their hands and edge-work to create space and fool defenders every time their on the ice.

With similar narratives, the Toronto Maple Leafs are banking on Marner continuing to beat Kane statistically with hopes that he will help the team win a Stanley Cup for the first time in 53 years.

If Marner is able to continue on his path of averaging a point-per-game, there’s no reason why an Art Ross Trophy or even Conn Smythe Trophy is out of the question in his career.

There’s not too many players more skilled than Marner, and now that he’s paired with Matthews every night, look for those two to outperform every duo in the NHL for the next four years.

William Nylander

Salary: 6.962 million

Comparable Salary: James van Riemsdyk– $7 million

When the Toronto Maple Leafs let JVR walk but re-signed Nylander for less money in the same off-season, people were outraged.

They weren’t upset by seeing JVR sign for more money, they were upset that Nylander was getting paid way too much money.

Let’s play “Would You Rather” for a second? Would you rather have JVR or Ny… Before you could even finish that sentence, the answer is Nylander.

Nylander was on-pace for 37 goals before the season stopped, which would have been higher than any season JVR has had.

It’s easy to criticize Nylander for the hold-out which turned into a disaster 2018-19 season, but if we take that out of consideration, Nylander should be scoring anywhere between 25-35 goals every year while producing 60-80 points.

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Nylander will hit his prime as his contract expires after the 2023-24 season and if he continues to play the way he’s performed this season, a steady 30-goal scorer each year for under $7 million per season will be a steal.