Insider reveals why the Leafs didn't trade William Nylander this summer

Dean Chaudhry
August 29, 2023  (4:02 PM)

Throughout most of the summer, the majority of the talk in Toronto has been about when Auston Matthews' contract extension would be completed and what would happen with William Nylander if he doesn't agree to sign his extension before the 2023-24 season begins.

We're all well aware of the media circus that is Toronto and the last thing anyone needs to worry about is having to respond to inquiries about either contract status all throughout camp, the preseason and into the regular season. Now that Matthews has signed his 4-year, $53M extension, that's one major piece of business done and out of the way. However, the situation with Nylander and the Leafs seems to be at a bit of a standstill at the moment.
It was long believed that if Nylander wasn't willing to sign an extension on or around July 1st, he could be traded. Well, as we approach September 1st, not only is Nylander not signed - he also recently stated, very publicly I might add, that he is in no rush to get a deal done. Does this mean that the Leafs will trade him? Not according to Sportsnet's Elliotte Friedman.
"I think the Maple Leafs just decided [to keep him for this year] I think they looked at trading him. I don't think they liked what was out there.

I mean, he did score 40 goals last year. He's a really talented guy and in the playoffs, he was involved in a couple of their really successful moments against Tampa Bay. I think they know that and recognize that; they didn't like what was out there [in the trade market]." - Friedman on the Leafs and William Nylander

The trade market for a rental is always tough to gauge even when it's a productive star forward like Nylander. The Leafs aren't going to just give him away for pennies on the dollar. He's a 40-goal scorer, as Friedman alluded to, and might have more value to the team than they'd get back for him in a trade. Futures don't really benefit a team like the Leafs, who are trying to win now, and if the packages offered to the Leafs contained underwhelming pieces that can play now, it shouldn't come as a surprise that they'd have just hung onto the player instead of taking a loss on the deal.
With Brad Treliving, time is of the essence. However, as of this moment, he is happy with where things stand heading into the season and a big part of that is the Matthews deal being finalized. Clearly, he favours the idea of rolling the dice on waiting on a Nylander deal. Let's hope that he was right to wait it out, because if they lose Nylander for nothing next summer, it won't look very good on the new GM.
29 AOUT   |   225 ANSWERS
Insider reveals why the Leafs didn't trade William Nylander this summer

Are the Leafs right to hold onto William Nylander and risk losing him for nothing next summer?

No, they should have traded him7633.8 %
Yes, they're right to keep him6528.9 %
I'm willing to wait and see8437.3 %
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