Guess what? The William Nylander saga continues, and with the December 1st deadline to sign a contract is quickly approaching, there is a lot of action on the trade market 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.
Bob McKenzie shared with viewers what he believes is going on between the Leafs and interested teams calling in about Nylander, and it sure sounds like a trade could be done, if the Leafs can get what they want.
“Well, the Toronto Maple Leafs’ priority remains the same, and that is to try and sign William Nylander to a contract,” began McKenzie. “Either a short-term bridge deal or a long-term deal. But with the December 1 deadline for ‘If you’re not signed, you’re not in the National Hockey League for the rest of the season’ starting to loom large, the Leafs would be crazy not to be doing their due diligence and talking to other teams about trades.
“So that is what’s happening right now. There is some talk going back and forth, but I think it’s still in the early stages in terms of what you would call horse trading involving William Nylander."
What McKenzie however focused on is that the Leafs are getting quite picky about what they want to get, and teams should be aware of what the price truly is to land Nylander.
“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."
While the Canes might be highly interested in acquiring Nylander and signing him to a lucrative contract, they are not the only team looking to meet the Leafs' price to get their hands on Nylander.
"There are lots of teams interested, as you would expect, in William Nylander. But here’s where it gets difficult. The Los Angeles Kings would love to have William Nylander. The problem is they don’t really have a fit for a trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, and the money that William Nylander is going to command might be too much for L.A..
“The Anaheim Ducks, they’ve got young defensemen that the Leafs would love to get, but the money would pose a problem for the Anaheim Ducks.
“The Minnesota Wild have had multiple conversations over the last number of weeks about William Nylander with the Toronto Maple Leafs, but the cap issues could be a problem for them. And right now they’re going so well they don’t want to give up any of the defensemen that the Toronto Maple Leafs would want.
“New York Rangers have no cap issues. They’d love to have William Nylander, but they don’t have a fit either.
“So you can see where this is going. Some of the teams want the player but don’t have the right fit. Some of the teams want the player, but don’t have the cap space or the ability to do any better than what the Toronto Maple Leafs would offer on a contract.
“So it gets real complicated on that front. Leafs will continue to do two tracks: Negotiate and try to get a deal done over here, talk trade with everybody so they know exactly where they’re at if they get to November 30 and have to pull the trigger one way or the other.”
This is getting more and more intriguing as the deadline swiftly approaches...