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Ex-Leaf calls out the William Nylander camp after several direct comparables sign below $10M

Published July 27, 2023 at 11:35
BY MIKE ARMENTI

We are officially nearing the one month mark of free agency, with nearly 4 weeks having elapsed since Auston Matthews and William Nylander have been eligible to sign contract extensions, and yet, still we wait. Reports from several of the league's most credible insiders, including Elliotte Friedman and Chris Johnston, have stated that Matthews will get done, but that the Leafs want to get Nylander's deal done first. As of today, the team is no closer to getting Nylander inked than they were on July 1st and it's to the point now where it's somewhat concerning.

As we all know, Nylander's camp is seeking a deal in excess of $10M per season after a 40-goal, 87-point campaign in 2022-23. However, since his ask has gone public, we have seen the likes of several of his direct comparables sign deals for far less, including Timo Meier, Alex DeBrincat and, as of yesterday, Sebastian Aho. Meier signed an 8-year, $8.8M deal on June 28th, DeBrincat signed a 4-year deal with Detroit after being acquired by the Red Wings from the Sens, worth $7.875M per season and Aho's deal, of course, landed at 8 years and $9.75M per season.

On Thursday, a former Leaf chimed in, stating that, at this point, the Nylander camp will have to look at the landscape of the league, with all of these comparables signing reasonable deals and they may have to give up some ground.

"At the end of the day, Aho is a top-flight centerman in the league - he comes in at $9.75M. I don't know how Willy and his representation can still be thinking $10M. Maybe you still use that as a negotiating tactic, but now it needs to get narrower. We're at the point now where enough players have signed between Meier and DeBrincat and Aho... we know what the number is, you guys can get to it a lot quicker now. It's much narrower than it once was." - ex-Leaf Frank Corrado on the impact of comparable players signing fair deals on the Nylander negotiations



There's an argument to be made that Nylander deserves more than Timo Meier, but I don't think you can look at the Aho deal and say that Nylander deserves more than a high-end franchise center, who plays a strong two-way game and is both a primary powerplay producer and a primary penalty killer. Aho's game is more complete than Nylander's and their career numbers are very similar. Also, Aho is a year younger as well.

Hopefully, it's as Corrado suggested and now that Nylander has seen multiple comparables sign below the $10M mark, the gap will begin to narrow and the two sides can get a deal done.

POLL
July 27   |   2529 answers
Ex-Leaf calls out the William Nylander camp after several direct comparables sign below $10M

Do you think William Nylander deserves more than Sebastian Aho got from the Canes? ($9.75M AAV)

Yes1265 %
No230090.9 %
He deserves equal pay1034.1 %
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