The William Nylander's contract dispute with the Toronto Maple Leafs creeps closer towards the Dec. 1 deadline, and we still have no clue what will happen to the young winger for the rest of the 2018-19 season? We hear contract developments, we hear trade rumors, we even heard the possibility that Toronto will let him sit out the year and lose an entire season of his services.
You have to admit that we have heard almost everything possible about what will come next for Nylander. Well, today you have. On Wednesday, Leafs Lunch host Andi Petrillo and Mike Johnson discuss a question posted by Craig Button asking if they could see the Leafs being interested in trading Nylander for Chicago Blackhawks' Brandon Saad.
Are you shock? Because let's us tell you, Johnson sure was stunned to hear Button suggest such a crazy trade. Button pointed out that he would consider it seeing that he could have Saad on the wing with Auston Matthews. However, he clearly knows that Saad is a less talented player than Nylander and that the Hawks would win the trade.
"I get a player that's worse than William Nylander," Johnson says at a negative fact of the transaction, before Button agreed with him on the analysis.
Nylander, 22, is coming off back-to-back 61-point seasons, and, as of now, Saad has tallied six goals and 10 points in 19 games so far this season. He is coming off an arm injury, and could be back on track now that he has been outstanding in three games at home that netted five points and busted the Hawks out of a slump.
Button maintains that the Leafs do not have to trade Nylander this year, they could simply sit him out and have money in the back for rentals when the trade deadline comes around to make a long playoff push. As he says, the Maple Leafs will not trade Nylander for a poor return. It may be why Andi Petrillo was confused about his suggestion for a Nylander-for-Saad trade.
"I am not going to get the best player in this deal, but I cannot make a bad trade just to get assets back," said Johnson.
"I brought in Brandon Saad as a left winger for Auston Matthews, that's it,"explained Button.
Button was trying to make the point that there is a lot of ways to improve the Maple Leafs, who have a great shot at the Stanley Cup this season despite missing Nylander's services. While most people are focused on the fact that the Leafs should bolster their back end on the right side, he believes the wing, especially the hole next to Matthews, should be considered as well.
However, Johnson believes it's a void that can eventually be filled closer to the trade deadline with a rental player, and not sacrificing a huge asset like Nylander for it.