Nylander linked to Avalanche and Predators as trade talks pick up steam
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Nylander linked to Avalanche and Predators as trade talks pick up steam

Where there's smoke, there's fire?



The Toronto Maple Leafs held  their annual locker clean out and season ending media availability yesterday, albeit much later than they're used to. The Leafs, of course, finally made it out of the first round of the Stanley Cup Playoffs this season but stubbed their toe in the second round losing in five games to the Florida Panthers.

Now, just like every offseason, the Leafs are left to pick up the pieces and move on except this offseason there are some serious considerations to make regarding the team's future. It's no secret that GM Kyle Dubas and head coach Sheldon Keefe are unsigned beyond this season and it remains to be seen what happens with their future in Toronto, but on the ice there are even bigger decisions to be made.

Superstar forwards Auston Matthews and William Nylander are both entering the final year of their contracts and are eligible for extensions this offseason. But... do they want to stay? Or do they want to test the market as free agents? 

Both players stated unequivocally today that they intend on staying in Toronto and would like to sign extensions before next season begins.

Sure, the players want to remain in Toronto but the fact of the matter is that the Leafs have some serious cap relief work to do this upcoming offseason. I suspect the big ticket players like Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Morgan Rielly likely won't be going anywhere due to their no-trade and no-movement clauses, but Nylander has only a limited no-trade clause. He can submit a list of 10 trades that he will not accept a trade to, but the Leafs are free to trade him to 21 other teams if they so choose.

Sportsnet's Jeff Marek already linked Nylander to the Colorado Avalanche, a move which makes a lot of sense.

Check it out:

“If you make William Nylander available,” Marek said. “I know a lot of Nylander haters won’t like to hear this – there will be a huge market for William Nylander. Are you telling me that a team like, I’ll tell you Elliotte, the one that keeps popping out to me when I think about if the Maple Leafs want to go to market with Nylander, is Colorado. You’re telling me the Colorado Avalanche, where Gabriel Landeskog is not playing next season, and we have a whole bunch of questions about the future of Valeri Nichushkin, you’re telling me that couldn’t be a home for someone like Nylander? And with their structure, and with their leadership group and with where they’re at on their winning cycle, that’s not a fit?”

- Jeff Marek

And Nashville Predators insider Ann Kimmel has linked Nylander to the Preds, another locale that makes a ton of sense from Nashville's perspective.

In both cases, I'm not sure what the Avs or the Predators could offer up in exchange for Nylander besides cap space and future assets. The Preds already dealt their number one trade chip in Mattias Ekholm and the Avalanche likely aren't interested in parting with many players from their Stanley Cup contending roster. Stay tuned though... where there's smoke there might just be fire.

Source: Jeff Marek