Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving is on a mission to keep the team’s star players with the team. Now that Auston Matthews has been re-signed to a new four-year deal, Treliving’s focus has shifted to William Nylander’s expiring contract.
Nylander Is a Star – No Doubt About It
Nylander is a 27-year-old winger, and he’s a star. He’s coming off a great season, in which he scored a career-high of 40 goals and added 47 assists (for 87 points). He’s in the expiring season of his six-year deal signed in 2018.
Now, his future with the Maple Leafs is at the forefront of the team’s desires. They say they want to keep him.
Recently, Treliving made it clear that Nylander is a crucial player for the team. He stated, “Willy is a really important player and a really good player, and we want to get him done, too.”
Treliving also emphasized that Nylander was clear that he wanted to remain in Toronto. And, that’s a crucial factor in contract negotiations. It’s good to have players who want to play in the city their team occupies.
More Talks Are Coming Between Nylander and the Maple Leafs
Treliving intends to hold further talks with Nylander’s camp before the season begins. At the same time, Nylander’s agent Lewis Gross is open to reaching an agreement. Treliving noted that such negotiations take time, because each contract is unique.
Despite Nylander’s pending unrestricted free agency, it appears the team is willing to take its time to secure his future. Given how good a player Nylander is – and could become – fans should not expect that the March trade deadline might not play any role in Nylander’s situation, provided the team remains a contender.
The Maple Leafs Are Better With Nylander on the Team
Nylander’s performance last season was impressive. At the same time, his commitment to the team makes him a valuable asset. He’s been with the team since he was drafted eighth overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft. Over his eight seasons, he’s scored 177 goals and totalled 430 points in 521 regular-season games.
If the team can ink Nylander’s contract extension, it would be part of Treliving’s ongoing work as the team’s general manager. Along with Matthews’ contract, he has extended head coach Sheldon Keefe’s contract and been through salary arbitration with starting goalie Ilya Samsonov.
Nylander’s Contract Is Next on the List
As the Maple Leafs prepare for the upcoming season, contract negotiations with Nylander are a high priority. Training camp starts in just over a week (on September 20) and the regular season opens against the Montreal Canadiens on October 11.
Can the team sign Nylander before the regular season? Perhaps, but I’d be surprised.