It looks as if the Toronto Maple Leafs’ contract negotiations with high-scoring forward William Nylander have hit a roadblock – about the size of $2 million. He wants $10 million and they want to offer only $8 million. So, given new Mape Leafs’ general manager Brad Treliving’s experience with free agents walking for no return, it’s not hard to imagine that Nylander could be moved before that happens.

But where?

Related: Will Max Domi Be with the Maple Leafs for the Long Term?

Might the Flames Be a Landing Place?

Ironically, one of the leading landing places might be Treliving’s old team – the Calgary Flames. They have their problems and seem to be grappling with uncertainties surrounding key players like Elias Lindholm, Mikael Backlund, and Noah Hanifin. It seems now that the two teams might hook up on a trade that could work to solve both of their problems. Rumours are circulating.

Could the Flames be after Nylander? For sure, they are considering moves to strengthen their roster and maintain competitiveness in the upcoming season. What are the potential trade possibilities between the Maple Leafs and Flames?

The Flames Need a Game-Breaker

Facing the potential departure of key players, the Flames are keen to make changes that would enhance their team’s success. What they want is an offensive game-breaker who can turn the tide of a game at a crucial moment. While Nylander is about the third fiddle in Toronto (after Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner), he would be higher up the food chain with a team like the Flames.

There is speculation that the Flames believe Nylander has the potential to fill a key role for the team. While he might not be worth his reported $10 million average annual value (AAV) with the Maple Leafs, he might be seen as exactly what the Flames need. Could he be worth $10 million in another city?

Related: Nylander Worth More Than Maple Leafs Willing to Pay

A Key Difference Between Calgary and Toronto

One difference between the Maple Leafs and the Flames is that Calgary has enough salary-cap space to flexibly negotiate with Nylander’s agent. If Treliving called Flames’ GM Craig Conroy, you’d think he’d be willing to listen.

They would also seem to be willing to sign Nylander if they anticipated further departures from their roster. These just might be the kind of players who could be moved to the Maple Leafs for Nylander. If the Flames had Nylander on their roster, would that tip the scales toward fellow Swedish player Elias Lindholm’s decision to stay with the Flames?

Are the Maple Leafs and the Flames Exploring Options?

As the summer progresses and the 2023-24 regular-season approaches, trading Nylander might become increasingly challenging because more teams would have their rosters set. By contrast, the Flames are in a holding pattern given the uncertainties surrounding their star players.

Until the Flames can address the situation with players who have indicated their intention not to sign extensions, the team’s new general manager, Craig Conroy, faces limited options. That’s where Nylander might be of interest to him.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs Rookie Card

Given the unresolved player situations in both cities, might a trade between the Maple Leafs and Flames be on the horizon? The Maple Leafs might be more willing now to trade their elite star because they now have both Tyler Bertuzzi and Max Domi signed to one-year contracts. Either (or both) of these players could replace Nylander’s offensive contributions.

The Bottom Line

Two teams with player problems? A potentially simple solution by trading Nylander for players who want already to leave the Flames.

Does this seem like a bit of a no-brainer? The Flames’ interest in Nylander and the Maple Leafs’ willingness to explore trade options sets the stage for a possible deal.

Who knows? Could happen.

Related: Are Tyler Bertuzzi & the Maple Leafs a Perfect Fit?

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *