With the heat turning up on rookie general manager Kyle Dubas over the situation concerning unsigned restricted free agent William Nylander, things may finally boil over in Toronto this week. The Toronto Maple Leafs are, of course, without the services of superstar centre Auston Matthews for the next month due to a shoulder injury and the team is staring at a quickly approaching Dec 1st deadline to get Nylander under contract. If Dubas should fail to sign Nylander by the end of November, the Leafs will be forced to curb negotiations until next offseason. Of course, there’s always the possibility that Nylander could be traded in the meantime, should the two sides continue to rebuff each other in contract negotiations.
In his 31 Thoughts column for Sportsnet, NHL insider Elliotte Friedman reports that there’s no progress between the two sides and hints at a possible trade. Check it out:
Weekly William Nylander update: it’s a deadlock. Neither side is moving. I don’t think Toronto is ready to trade him yet, but they know it’s time to start considering what could be out there.
Then today on the 31 Thoughts podcast Friedman dropped a bit of inside info on who potentially could be in the mix for Nylander, should Dubas elect to trade him.
Check out these quotes from Friedman:
“Now the interesting thing about this is they haven’t been a team that’s been mentioned a lot with Nylander, but they could do it,” noted Friedman when speaking about the Philadelphia Flyers. “They have pieces that I think Toronto could like.
“So who have we mentioned. We’ve mentioned - if Toronto gets to this point - we’ve mentioned Los Angeles, we’ve mentioned Minnesota, Carolina definitely - they’re all over the place there - but I really do believe that a stealth team that has what Toronto would want would be the Flyers.”
So… if Dubas is in fact scouring the market for a potential trade, we’re likely looking at the Philadelphia Flyers, Los Angeles Kings, Minnesota Wild or Carolina Hurricanes as potential trade partners for the Leafs.
Again, check out comments from Friedman’s column:
"It’s not a coincidence Kyle Dubas’s travels took him to see Philadelphia, Los Angeles, Minnesota and Carolina — all of whom could be a fit. It also wouldn’t be a surprise if Toronto targeted teams it believes are a fit instead of going public with a “sale” sign."
What we do know for certain is that time is running out quickly for Nylander and Dubas to make a deal. Should the clock strike midnight on November 30th without a deal in place, Dubas himself could find himself out of a job in his first season as the team’s GM. Pitter patter, Kyle.