Nylander/Leafs far apart in talks as forward remains in Europe.
Jack Boland/Toronto Sun  

Nylander/Leafs far apart in talks as forward remains in Europe.

The talented Maple Leafs forward remains in Europe with a big gap in contract negotiations.

Jonathan Larivee

On Wednesday, Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Brad Treliving concluded what will undoubtedly go down as his most important piece of business in his first year as the organization's new general manager, signing star forward Auston Matthews to a 4 year contract that carries an average annual value and cap hit of $13.25 million per season.

It was a huge moment for both the Leafs and their fan base, but although there has been much celebration regarding the news there remains another important piece of business for Treliving that has yet to be concluded. Another of Toronto's top forwards, William Nylander, is in need of a new contract and by all accounts there remains a wide gap between the two parties.

On Friday, Treliving touched on the fact that he still had work to do on the Nylander front.

"Now we continue to work at William,” Treliving said during his media availability. "William's a terrific player. He's a star. And you want to keep your good players, so we have time, William's got a year left on his contract. We'll continue to work away at it and hopefully, when we have good news, we'll be for sure to share it."

Whether or not Treliving will be able to make that good news materialize however is another matter entirely. All indications are that a gap of over $1 million remains between Nylander and the Maple Leafs in negotiations, and it will be up to Treliving to find a way to bridge that gap.

The good news is that in the case of William Nylander, the Maple Leafs general manager has a little more time on his hands with one year remaining on Nylander's deal. That being said Nylander now has significantly more negotiating power with a 10 team no trade clause that kicked in on July 1st for what is the final year of his current contract. Nylander's current deal carries a cap hit of $6.962 million per season and his next contract is expected to represent a significant raise.

Whether Treliving will be able to get a deal done prior to the start of the season or if this will drag out like the last negotiation between Nylander and the Leafs remains to be seen. For the time being Nylander remains in Europe, with no indications that the gap between the two sides has narrowed.