While the December 1st deadline to sign a contract is quickly approaching, the William Nylander saga is still going strong as there is a lot of trade chatter and teams are ticking the tires of the Toronto Maple Leafs' young forward. As the expected return remains two roster players, the segment of Insider Trading on TSN on Tuesday night focused on which team might be willing to meet Toronto's asking price if ever the Leafs fail to sign the much-talked about free agent.
For months now, the Carolina Hurricanes have been showing interest in landing the talented young forward. Bob McKenzie made something clear however in their attempt to land Nylander: the Canes aren't willing to go all in.
“It gets complicated, and here’s why. We said all along that a team like the Carolina Hurricanes were interested, and they are - but for the right price. So our sense of it is that Brett Pesce would be available to the Toronto Maple Leafs, but Jaccob Slavin wouldn’t be. And I do expect that the Carolina Hurricanes and the Toronto Maple Leafs will continue to have dialogue over the course of the week.
“But they’re by no means the only team that’s interested."
That's right. For the past weeks now, the Minnesota Wild, Los Angeles Kings and Anaheim Ducks have been in the mix, but now NHL insider Pierre LeBrun believes a new suitor is entering the sweepstakes. While some believe the Pittsburgh Penguins, Philadelphia Flyers and Vegas Golden Knights might also investigate on Nylander with the Leafs, LeBrun revealed that the Florida Panthers are also a suitor for the young forward.
Here is how he explains it in his latest column in The Athletic:
"I do believe the Panthers have discussed the merits of Nylander internally. But GM Dale Tallon hasn’t yet reached out to Toronto. Nylander would mesh well with their young forward corps. But what Tallon probably doesn’t see is a trade fit. Presumably the Leafs would want the package to start with defenceman Michael Matheson. “Not a chance,’’ one source said Tuesday when asked about Florida moving Matheson."
While it remains to be seen how much of a serious suitor the Panthers will be, it sure gives the Leafs one more option to get the price they seek in return for Nylander.
LeBrun goes further by adding that the St. Louis Blues could also look into the possibility of reaching out to the Maple Leafs to start trade talks on Nylander.
If the Blues don’t get their season on track, there’s no telling what an aggressive GM like Doug Armstrong might do. I’ve had zero indication from anyone that he would have any interest in Nylander but you can’t rule it out. Colton Parayko would be the obvious point of discussion from a Leafs’ perspective.
As of now, the clock is simply ticking - for everyone involved.