The Toronto Maple Leafs need to re-sign William Nylander.
The Toronto Maple Leafs are facing a difficult situation. They need to find a way to sign their star forward William Nylander to a long-term contract extension without compromising their salary cap situation.
Nylander, who is set to become a free agent after this season, is expected to be paid north of $10 million per year, which would make his one of the richest contracts in the league.
That would be tough to manage for the Toronto Maple Leafs who will be paying Auston Matthews to be the highest paid player in the NHL.
The Leafs are already spending right up to the current salary cap limit. Beyond next season they will also need to re-sign both Mitch Marner and John Tavares. To say that the salary cap space is tight would be an understatement.
So, what can the Leafs do to keep Nylander happy and in blue and white for years to come without putting themselves in financial hole? They’ll need to get creative.
Some Incentives for the Toronto Maple Leafs to Entice Nylander With
The first thing the Maple Leafs need to offer Nylander is a TTC pass. While they may not exist for the average commuter, there’s no doubt that the Leafs have both the sway and connections to get the forward a lifetime pass for all public transit in Toronto.
The happiest Nylander looked all season long was when the Leafs played in Sweden. It’s all about making their star happy. This contract extension must include a clause that allows Nylander the use of the Maple Leafs private jet to visit his birth town of Calgary, Alberta and the city of Stockholm, Sweden, where he spent his teenage years and played his minor hockey for Södertälje SK.
The Maple Leafs gave Justin Bieber the power to be a designer when he played a role in putting together what looked like a practice jersey that should be sold exclusively at a big box store. Nylander may not have the same experience of lending his name to new innovations, such as adding sprinkles to donuts, but there’s no reason to believe that he lacks the same ability to design a custom jersey.
In fact, instead of adding another zero to Nylander’s Leafs extension, the organization should make him a custom equipment and jersey deal.
Just like athletes of many different sports have exclusive and valuable contracts to only wear shoes or use equipment from a specific manufacturer, Nylander can do that for a new line created by Maple Leafs Sports and Entertainment.
Any income generated from that wouldn’t count towards the Leafs cap. Plus, with his new designing experience, Toronto could bump Bieber to the side in favor of ‘Willy’s Styles’ (They can workshop the name.).
Finally, the Toronto Maple Leafs can make Nylander’s parents the team’s official spokespeople and ambassadors. Afterall, the owner of Toronto’s longest ever point streak to start a season is not only a skilled hockey player, but also very charismatic. He must get that from somewhere.
Michael and Camilla Nylander could immediately be put on payroll. The Leafs could leverage Nylander’s popularity and charm, which would help make him and his parents the faces of the franchise. The Nylanders could star in commercials, endorse products, host events, and interact with the media and the fans. They could also use the platform to promote causes that they care about.
Of course, I’m only joking around, and it’s not actually legal for teams to pay players in favors to circumvent the salary cap, but hopefully, the Maple Leafs and Nylander will be able to reach an agreement soon and keep Nylander in Toronto for a long time.