What If the Leafs Sign Williamn Nylander for $11M Per Season?

Toronto Maple Leafs v Los Angeles Kings
Toronto Maple Leafs v Los Angeles Kings / Harry How/GettyImages

During the first intermission of the Toronto Maple Leafs and Los Angeles Kings game on Tuesday night, both Elliott Friedman and Nick Kyrpeos spoke about the William Nylander contract talks.

Both felt that the Toronto Maple Leafs and Nylander were getting very close to getting an eight-year extension settled.

Kypreos even added that his information was that the deal was going to be above $11 Million per season, while Friedman was not ready to state he had similar information.

If the Kypreos suggestion was in the acurate ballpark and GM Brad Treliving added the Swedish-Calgarian as the fourth forward on the team to make near $11 Million or more, you have to wonder if the Maple Leafs will be able to compete with those four contracts?

What If the Leafs Sign Williamn Nylander for $11M Per Season?

Before coming to the conclusion that the Maple Leafs are in danger with those contracts on the books, you have to look at three things.

The first being that $11 Million today, isn't the same $11 Million when the new generational contracts were being signed, which was led by Connor McDavid in the summer of 2017. That July, McDavid signed an eight-year deal worth $12.5 Million per season, which took up 16.67% of the $75 Million cap.

A Nylander $11 Million contract would carry around 13.2% of the salary cap next year, which would be equivalent of him signing a $9.9 Million deal in 2017. Fans need to stop worrying about the dollar amount and focus more on the percentage of the cap.

The second part is to remember that the Maple Leafs will only have John Tavares $11 Million deal for one more year after this season.

The former first overall pick becomes an unrestricted free agent in the summer of 2025 and while he could go anywhere, the assumption is that he returns to Toronto on a much cheaper contract than what he is earning today. There is only one year the team has to worry about maneuvering around those four contracts.

Youthful Resurgence Helps Cap Space

The third part is that thanks to several contracts expiring this summer the team has a lot of cap space starting this off-season.

A huge factor to the team's cap space is if Joseph Woll and Dennis Hildeby can take the net together, you are looking at under $2 Million combined in their goaltending.

Matthew Knies will still be on his entry level contract and has solidified himself in the top six. Also, there is a good chance that Easton Cowan, Fraser Minten and Topi Niemelä can also be added to the roster on entry level deals.

Minten may be able to take the third line center role which would save a few million on that role, while Cowan could eventually push for a top six left wing spot as he plays a similar game to Knies.

The youth coming through the system at the right time will also allow Treliving to dive into free agency and go after one of the big free agent defenseman from the Carolina Hurricanes.

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The only disappointing part of the contract is it sounded like back in the summer, that the team could have got Nylander signed in the range of $9.5 Million per season.