The real issue exposed in latest Nylander’s rumoured contract!

The real issue exposed in latest Nylander’s rumoured contract!

The latest rumour caused a bit of alarm, but a closer look shows you what this is really about.



On Tuesday night, Sportsnet’s Nick Kypreos reported that the Toronto Maple Leafs and star forward William Nylander are getting closer to a deal, which could carry an AAV of over $11 million, adding that an agreement could come to terms before NHL All-Star Weekend (Feb. 1-3).

“It’s trending closer to the Leafs and Willy getting a deal done, is what I hear,” Kypreos said.

“The other belief is that it will be a number that’s over [$11 million]. $11.25 million is the one that is probably mentioned the most. Times eight.”

After the Maple Leafs’ 3-0 shutout win over the Los Angeles Kings, in which Nylander recorded two tallies, the Swede was asked to comment, but declined to do so.

It didn’t take long for fans, pundits and reporters to analyze the rumoured deal and when it comes to Adam Proteau of the Hockey News, the alarm bells aren’t going off when he thinks of how the Maple Leafs can still fit under the salary cap. As he points out thanks to PuckPedia, Toronto is projected to have $28.5 million in cap space, with 13 players under contract.

He however sees a major issue in what comes after Nylander’s signature at a very high price, in attempting to filling out the roster.

“That sounds like Toronto is in dire straits when it comes to filling out the roster after Nylander signs for, let’s say, $11.5 million. But look at it this way: the cap ceiling will likely rise to $87.5 million – $4 million more than the cap ceiling this season. Let’s then say that $4 million can go directly to pay Nylander more than his current $6.9 million salary. That leaves about $600,000 more that’s needed to cover Nylander’s 2024-25 salary. And that brings us to our next point: Toronto’s other UFAs.”

Enter captain John Tavares and top forward Mitch Marner. Proteau doesn’t see how it would be possible for the Maple Leafs to hold on to them after agreeing to the massive reported contract with Nylander.

“While Marner likely will get a small raise, Tavares will feel pressure to sign the type of low-dollar, high-value deal that Boston star centers Patrice Bergeron and David Krejci signed in recent years. Those contracts allowed the Bruins to make their roster deeper with above-average talent."

Proteau, who also lists T.J. Brodie as one of the potential sacrificial lambs, knows however that Toronto cannot lose Nylander to free agency. He believes GM Brad Treliving must keep the Core Four together and worry about the future, maybe once a Stanley Cup has been won?

“[K]eeping the Core Four intact is very doable, at least through next season. They’re the engine in Toronto, and Treliving can not afford to lose a key engine component.”

What do you think will be Nylander's contract in Toronto?

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