Things between the Toronto Maple Leafs are restricted free agent forward William Nylander appear to be deteriorating at a rapid rate and as a result we have heard of several significant developments on that front over the week end.
Things really kicked off on Saturday night when Sportsnet NHL insider Elliotte Friedman revealed that, for the first time since this entire fiasco began, the Maple Leafs had openly informed rival teams that they wanted to see their best offers for a potential Nylander trade.
“They’re at a point where they’re beginning to test the market,” Elliotte Friedman said during the weekly segment "Headlines" segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Word is that they have asked teams to inform them who teams or interested parties would not be willing to move and also to begin to preparing formal offers for the unsigned Toronto winger.”
That however may not have been what caused the sudden shift from Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas. A new report from Friedman's colleague, Sportsnet NHL insider Chris Johnston, revealed over the week end that there is a major rumor floating around suggesting that the Toronto Maple Leafs made Nylander a significant contract offer. According to the "scuttlebutt" that Johnston has been hearing the Leafs reportedly offered Nylander a contract similar to the one that Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak, the NHL's leading goal scorer at the moment, is currently playing under. That is to say a contract that would pay Nylander a whopping $40 million over the course of the next 6 years or an average annual value in the neighborhood of $6.66 million per season, but that offer according to the rumors was rejected by the Nylander camp.
If that was something resembling the Maple Leafs final and best offer it's easy to see why a rejection of that contract would lead Kyle Dubas to seek a potential trade at this time, and who knows where that could lead the Leafs. One very interesting take on the situation comes from Boston Bruins insider Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, a take that would appear to suggest that the Bruins organization could prove to be a major dark horse in this scenario.
It's no secret that the Bruins have been looking for more secondary scoring in their line up and they have in fact been connected to trade rumors in that regard already this season. There's no question that Nylander would fit the Bruins' needs in terrific fashion and the Bruins also have an excellent piece that could have the Leafs' foaming at the mouth in excitement, star defenseman Charlie McAvoy.
"Suspect not many [Bruins'] fans would swap [Charlie] McAvoy for [William] Nylander, but it's an intriguing thought," wrote Dupont on Sunday.
Now there's obviously a host of problems with this potential trade, but it's a rather exciting one to think about for both sides nonetheless. The first problem of course is that team's are often reluctant to trade defenseman with the kind of ceiling that McAvoy has for offensive players, no matter how talented those players may be. The biggest roadblock however would be the fact that the Bruins and the Leafs are not only division rivals, but they have developed a rather bitter rivalry over the past two seasons, one that might make both Kyle Dubas and Bruins general manager Don Sweeney to do business with each other.
What do you think? Do you like Dupont's trade idea? Would you make the move if you were the Bruins GM? Would you do it if you were the Leafs? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below.
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