Toronto Maple Leafs fans and several other teams of the National Hockey League are closely following the William Nylander contract dispute, and waiting to see if the free agent will be signed before the looming Dec. 1st deadline, which is quickly approaching.
However, they are not the only ones with something to say about the situation as NHL insider Bob McKenzie revealed during a Leafs Lunch discussion Friday on Toronto’s TSN 1050 that other agents have commented on what the ideal offer for Nylander should be and how the Maple Leafs might want to listen to it.
“I talked to some agents this week,” McKenzie explained on the air. “And one of the agents said, ‘It seems to me it’s pretty obvious, within 100K or 200K, what the deal should be. It’s a three-year deal: $4 million in the first year,’ to mitigate the amount of money he’s lost, so you want a lower salary in the first year so your missed games… ‘$5 million in the second year, $7 million in the third year.’ The $7 million in the third year guarantees that his QO and his platform for arbitration and everything else is in that universe of $7-plus million.
“That would be a three-year deal, $5.33 million AAV. That is, I can pretty much guarantee you, more - way more - than the Maple Leafs want to pay, and I would suggest that it’s way less than what William Nylander expects to get paid. So it might be the perfect deal, if both sides are really miserable and unhappy with it, that’s where you meet in the middle.
“And I don’t think a 5.33 AAV, depending on how it’s calculated with the rules being what they are, but I don’t think that would cripple the Leafs over the next couple of years here.
“It’s a little bit more - almost half a million more than what Kucherov got two years ago, October. But the cap has gone up since then, and it’s going to continue to go up. So it’s similar to the Kucherov deal, but a little more modern twist to it because two years have gone by.
“And as I say, I think the Leafs would recoil at 5.33 AAV for three years, and I think Nylander would too. Good. They should both be unhappy. They should both be miserable. Get the deal done, and let’s go.”
McKenzie maintains that neither side would be pleased with the proposed contract, however, for now, it might be the only way to get this done before the deadline. As a comparable, the NHL insider mentioned Kucherov's deal, which is a three-year, $14.3 million contract. The cap hit is $4.767 million, and this is its final season.
The Leafs might have to present this offer after all...