The Toronto Maple Leafs continue to negotiate a new contract with William Nylander.
Many speculate that Nylander is seeking $10 million or more, and that the Toronto Maple Leafs are trying to stay under $9 million.
The last time the Leafs and Nylander negotiated a new contract, Nylander missed the first two months of the season as he held out for more money.
That $6.9 million per season deal turned out to be a steal, as Nylander has recorded 30 or more goals three times over the past five seasons. He has set career highs in goals and points two years in a row.
Toronto Maple Leafs Continue to Negotiate with William Nylander
Negotiating a new contract in today’s sports world is both a reflection of what a player has done, but also where they project to be.
If Nylander sees himself as a 35-45 goal scorer with 80+ points a season, then it makes sense for him to seek $10 million. However, that number might price himself out of Toronto. The Leafs are a better team with Nylander than without, but there is only so much cap space to go around.
Nylander at $8.5 million – $9 million (max) is where Toronto would like the new deal to be. However, they might have to make it a short-term deal. A long-term deal is ideal for the player and the team, but Nylander might want a higher salary on a long-term contract.
Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving is not one to let contract talks linger too long. If a new deal is not ironed out between him and Nylander by training camp in September, Nylander could find himself being traded.
It will be difficult for GM Treliving to win a Nylander trade. No matter what the return package is, it’s probably not as good as what you’re losing. At best, Toronto could get a 30-goal scorer with potential, plus a prospect with high upside. Trading Nylander might off some salary cap flexibility, but Toronto would rather have him long-term over short-term cap relief.
Some comparable contracts for Nylander’s new deal are Dylan Larkin ($8.7 million x 8 years) and Brayden Point ($9.5 million x 8 years). Nylander is between Larkin and Point in terms of points, and they’re around the same age.
So, $9 million a season seems like a decent number for the production the Maple Leafs get from Nylander. (Salary cap info from capfriendly.com). Time will tell if Nylander will sign long-term, short-term, or be traded away. Until then, all we have is speculation.