Ex-NHL coach reveals why Nylander is not the least bit worried about coming into the season on an expiring deal

Mike Armenti
September 1, 2023  (10:55)

By now, we're all sick to death of hearing about the William Nylander negotiations and whether or not a deal will get done before training camp or prior to the start of the season. Most of us, I think, have come to terms with the fact that Nylander will probably be entering the season without a deal in place and that he may not even care to negotiate a deal before next summer.

Obviously, this is not what most people want to hear - especially after Auston Matthews just signed his 4-year extension last week. Fans want to see players buy in and commit to the team. They don't want to hear about negotiations dragging out over the course of a year and potentially into next training camp. In that aspect, I don't think the Nylander camp are doing themselves any favours. However, regardless of what we think, Nylander has his own process and he seems determined to stick to his process.
One concern that fans seem to have is that Nylander won't be at the top of his game this season because of the ongoing distractions that come with negotiating a new contract. He'll have to endure relentless media pressure about it, presumably all year, if he doesn't sign before this season begins. One former NHL coach, and a very open Leafs fan in Bruce Boudreau, joined TSN 1050's First Up yesterday to touch on the Nylander contract situation and shared why he doesn't believe it will be an issue for the Swedish winger.
"I really don't think it's going to affect him too much because the one thing William knows is that at some point, he's going to get paid. If it's not by Toronto, it's going to be by somebody else. He's a really good player and [in] the NHL, there's 31 other teams that all know that he's a really good player that will be after his services... He knows that he's going to get taken care of. So [that's why I don't think] there will be a worry there this summer." - Boudreau on Nylander

That's the last thing that anyone really wants to hear, but Boudreau hit the nail on the head here. Nylander and his agent, Lewis Gross, are both unbothered because they know there will be a deal to be had - and very likely for bigger money - next summer. With the salary cap going up and with the Leafs having so much money committed to 5 players, there's a legitimate chance that another big year from Nylander could mean an enormous payday somewhere else next summer.
Obviously, it's easy for us to say "trade him" right now. The fact of the matter is that trading Nylander doesn't make the team better this year. The Leafs are in "go for it" mode and if they were to trade Nylander now for a subpar return, they'd definitely be hurting their chances of competing for a Stanley Cup - especially when you consider how productive Nylander has been for the Leafs in the last couple of playoff runs.
I'm with everyone else in hoping that a deal gets done before training camp, but if a deal doesn't get done, it's probably for the reason that Boudreau presented, which is unfortunately a part of the business side of the game.
Ex-NHL coach reveals why Nylander is not the least bit worried about coming into the season on an expiring deal

How does William Nylander presumably entering the season without an extension make you feel?

Worried1612.1 %
Fine5037.9 %
Mad1914.4 %
Don't care4735.6 %
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