The ongoing story of contract negotiations between William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs has taken a positive turn. NHL insider Elliotte Friedman recently provided several interesting insights. Among them is the suggestion that Nylander wants to remain in Toronto, which might lead him to accept a slightly reduced contract compared to what he could potentially demand on the open market.
Friedman also expressed his long-standing belief that Nylander’s contract would be substantial. However, that substance won’t be on the scale of his teammate Auston Matthews. According to Friedman, Nylander’s willingness to compromise stems from his desire to stay in Toronto.
That’s good because he’s perfect for the city. He doesn’t get overly riled up (or moved emotionally in many ways) by all the angst of playing in an openly critical market. It seems to wash off his back. The Swedish forward is known for his resilience against market pressures. In that, as Friedman notes, he shares a trait with legendary Toronto player Mats Sundin. Both Swedish players seem to have had the ability to remain unfazed by the market’s fluctuations.
Friedman Believes Nylander Wants to Stay in Toronto
As Friedman noted, “I think Nylander, because he wants to be in Toronto, is willing to accept less than he might get elsewhere. But he’s not going to be the only person who takes less.” Friedman also believed that this willingness to compromise, however, comes with a condition. That condition is that Nylander won’t be taking a pay cut unless others on the team are also willing to do so.
Friedman emphasized that Nylander’s standout play this season further solidifies his value in the league. Despite the ongoing negotiations and the complexity introduced by salary cap considerations, Nylander’s on-ice contributions make a compelling case for a large contract. The fact is that Nylander deserves it.
In speaking with his media partner Jeff Marek, Friedman noted that what Nylander has “shown this year is that all of the wildness about the market? Again, it just doesn’t faze me (Nylander).” What Friedman does believe is that the numbers on Nylander’s contract will be “a big number.”
While Friedman believes that there is some willingness to compromise he also believes that Nylander is “not taking a haircut if nobody else does.”
The Bottom Line in the Nylander Contract Negotiations
In essence, Nylander’s solid performance has proven his worth. Hence, the “big number” has become a focal point in the contract talks. As the negotiations continue, it remains to be seen how the Maple Leafs and Nylander will navigate the delicate balance between rewarding the Swedish winger for his market value and the financial constraints imposed by the salary cap.