You may be running out of patience with this William Nylander contract dispute, however, the Toronto Maple Leafs are running out of time. The impasse will reach some sort of resolution by the end of this week as both sides are facing a 5 pm ET deadline on Dec. 1 to re-sign the young winger. The Leafs still have three options in hand: they can get him under contract before Saturday, trade him to another team willing to meet his salary demands, or simply leave him unsigned and revisit contract negotiations next summer, which means he will be ineligible to play the remainder of this season.
With the clock ticking, NHL insider Pierre LeBrun reports that the Maple Leafs and general manager Kyle Dubas have had no other choice than to circle back to some teams suggesting they put their best foot forward on trade offers. As LeBrun mentions the Leafs' number one priority remains to re-sign Nylander, however with just two days to go to the signing deadline, the Maple Leafs need a plan B.
LeBrun's TSN colleague Bob McKenzie added that Toronto needs to make a last call on trade offers before they can go up to Nylander and make a last call of a contract offer. They can then decide if they sign or trade him, or even let him sit out the rest of the season.
Nylander must sign a contract by Saturday at 5pm et in order to play in the NHL this season, leaving the team with two days to work out a deal.
Earlier this week, the Leafs informed rival clubs that they “will not take on salary that disrupts its future cap situation.” Dubas remains set on coming to terms with Nylander, though has admitted that he needs to start looking into the possibility of moving him to a rival team if an agreement cannot be reached between both parties.
Last night, Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman made headlines when he stated that he strongly believes this will be the last year we see Nylander as a Maple Leaf. Friedman was on the air with Tim and Sid earlier early on Wednesday and revealed how he thinks the Nylander situation will eventually end up becoming.
"The one thing I do believe, no matter what happens, is that this will be William Nylander's final season as a Maple Leaf. Whether he signs, or whether he doesn't sign, this is going to be it. Even if he does sign, I think Toronto trades him by the draft at the latest."
In the meantime, head coach Mike Babcock maintains that Nylander will be back in the roster and believes he will be a difference maker moving forward.
“We think Willy’s gonna be here and we think Willy’s gonna be here for a long time. We think he’s gonna be a career Leaf. That’s what we think.”
It feels like Saturday cannot come any sooner...