The Toronto Maple Leafs are having a great season that is being ignored because of some unlucky playoff fails over the last couple of seasons.
Though they remain in competition for the President’s Trophy, as well as the Eastern Conference and Atlantic Division titles, only a perfect 82 and oh record would satisfy pundits and fans alike who revel in pretending that the Toronto Maple Leafs are a terrible team ran by an incompetent general manager.
It must be hard to admit you are wrong, otherwise the praise for this team would be unending – a Cup Favorite, with a top farm system, no bad contracts, locked-up stars, almost all off-season bets paying off, on pace for the best season in franchise history, Auston Matthews not just the MVP frontrunner but having one of the best individual seasons the NHL has seen in 20 years, and a recently added all-star-future-hall-of-fame defenseman.
So rather than talk about how good this team is, the Toronto Media has pounced on a “slump” by William Nylander (he was demoted in a game the team couldn’t buy a goal, so he’s apparently back to being “awful”) to once again suggest trading their favorite whipping boy.
These are the same people who said the Leafs should have drafted Nick Ritchie instead of William Nylander, and who have tried to trade him every ten minutes since.
Note: That during his so-called slump, William Nylander has nine points in nine games. (stats naturalstattrick.com).
Toronto Maple Leafs: It’s Always Idiotic to Trade One of Your Best Players
Nylander has 24 goals and 59 points, in 65 games, despite being on his team’s second line and not being a go-to option on the power-play. He does it with a 54% expected goals rating, which is elite.
In fact, over the last three seasons, according to @jfresh, Nylander is better than 87% of NHL players. He isn’t just “elite” he’s the kind of star player you build around, and his counting numbers are suppressed by playing behind Marner and Matthews.
There is one thing happening that might explain people’s sudden fasination with trading Nylander long after every reasonable person put that idea to bed: With Nylander on the ice this year at 5v5 the Leafs are -12 and have a goals for percentage of 44%. This is 100% due to the fact that the Leafs have only gotten 89% goaltending when he’s on the ice and has nothing to do with him.
The idea that play on the ice has any reflection of a goalie’s save percentage is something that was put to bed along time ago. See tweet below.
A superstar on one of the best value contracts in the NHL, it would be idiotic to trade Nylander, just as it has always been. The only way he gest moved is if the Toronto Maple Leafs fail in the playoffs, fire their GM, and bring in a much stupider and worse GM.
Nylander has not been as great as he can be over the last month or so, but he’s still racking up the points. The only problem is that he set the standard of being one of the best players in the NHL, and of late he’s only been very good.
The only thing that is actually happening here is that the Leafs are too good and there is nothing to really complain about so people have to find something. At the end of the day, the Leafs aren’t trading Nylander when they can have over ten million dollars to spend just by moving Muzzin, Kerfoot and Holl.
The Leafs aren’t trading Nylander and some people need to get new ideas.