From the rumours we hear about the Toronto Maple Leafs’ negotiations with William Nylander, they aren’t going well. In fact, this is the second contract negotiation where the team is having a tough time getting the reluctant Swedish forward to sign his name on the dotted line.
The process is complicated. There’s no doubt that Nylander is one of the top offensive producers in the NHL. The team would not want to lose him; however, it might be in a situation where it does. What should the Maple Leafs do?
What Are the Worries the Maple Leafs with Nylander?
In this post, I’m going to focus on six worries the team has as they try to sign a contract extension with their dynamic star. Here are the key concerns surrounding the potential deal with Nylander:
Worry #1: Nylander’s History of Strong Negotiation
Nylander has demonstrated in the past that he’s a determined negotiator. He’s willing to go the extra mile to get what he believes is a fair contract. His history suggests that he will hold fast in his upcoming negotiations.
Worry #2: Does Nylander Want to Be THE Man Somewhere?
Nylander has an interesting personality. He seems like he has a “go-with-the-flow” attitude. However, his specific actions suggest that he’s also a go-getter. He’s one of the hardest workers on the team and is always trying to improve his game. That personality contrast makes him hard to read.
With the Maple Leafs, he’ll always be the third fiddle as long as Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are around. Perhaps that suits him; perhaps he’s inclined to want to be THE star on another team. I’ve been watching him for years and I don’t know the answer to this question. Such confusion can complicate things.
Worry #3: The Maple Leafs Want to Win Now
Signing Nylander is a high-stakes priority for the team. The Maple Leafs are a contending team with aspirations of winning the Stanley Cup. Nylander plays a significant role in the team’s success. That makes his presence on the team crucial. It might also make it seem as if his contract extension is also crucial.
Worry #4: The Maple Leafs Are Flirting with Salary-Cap Problems
The NHL’s fixed salary cap continues to pose an obstacle for the Nylander signing. The team’s spressure to retain him while staying within salary cap constraints adds complexity to the process. There are huge considerations in this area. If the team signs Nylander to the deal he desires, that might impact the team’s ability to retain other key players or address other roster needs.
Worry #5: Potential Trade Scenarios
If the contract talks hit an impasse, the Maple Leafs could explore the possibility of trading Nylander. However, the team’s desire for immediate returns and improved performance could complicate these trade negotiations. They likely will not get commensurate value in return for him.
Worry #6: There’s a Risk of Losing Nylander
If the Maple Leafs do not re-sign Nylander to a contract extension, is there a chance he’d walk away in free agency? If the negotiations don’t result in a deal, the team risks losing him without receiving any compensation. On the face of it, that would seem like a big problem.
The Bottom Line
At this point in his career, it’s pretty clear that Nylander is the real deal. There would be no uncertainty about his future performance. Nylander has been a standout performer.
Now what to do? The Maple Leafs are faced with a critical decision. The team wants to sign him to a deal that keeps him as a Maple Leafs. However, they also understand the importance of maintaining a balanced roster and long-term financial stability.
What happens might be interesting. The Nylander situation is one to watch.