Are Nylander's comments about wanting to stay in Toronto genuine or just lip service?

Ryan Smitheram
August 24, 2023  (9:00)

William Nylander sat down with the media this week during the European Media Tour and was, of course, promptly asked about his contract extension. Nylander said it was being worked on and there is lots of time to get it sorted out. Additionally, Nylander said that it would be great if something could get done before the season starts and that he wants to be a Leaf.

While he is saying all the right things, Nylander is represented by Lewis Gross, who also represents Torey Krug and Johnny Gaudreau. When both Krug and Gaudreau were entering the final years of their contracts before hitting free agency, they both expressed to the media how they wanted to stay where they were; Krug in Boston and Gaudreau in Calgary. They also said that they had time to work out extensions and that there was no rush. In both cases, they ended up bolting for new teams once they had the chance to. Krug left Boston for St. Louis while Gaudreau infamously bolted to Columbus.
With Nylander in the same scenario as Gaudreau and Krug, the question has to be asked, are his comments about wanting to be in Toronto genuine or just lip service to keep fans off his back? Jeff O'Neil said it best on OverDrive last week: "if you're entering the season without an extension, you're gone."
Based on the history of Lewis Gross' clients and how they played the media and fans, it looks as though Nylander is following the playbook step by step and could very well be finding a new home come July 1st next summer, leaving the Leafs empty-handed.
Personally, I'd love to see Nylander remain a Leaf, provided that he signs a fair deal. However, I won't be shocked if he rides out his final year and looks to cash in on the open market.
24 AOUT   |   460 ANSWERS
Are Nylander's comments about wanting to stay in Toronto genuine or just lip service?

Do you think Nylander's comments about not wanting to play anywhere else but in Toronto are genuine, or is it all just lip service?

I think he's being genuine22047.8 %
Lip service. He's gone.24052.2 %
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