Latest info on Leafs winger suggests that a trade may be coming

Published August 17, 2023 at 9:50 PM

Training camp is slated to begin in just four weeks time and as of now it appears the Leafs and William Nylander are no closer to an extension than they were on July 1. With the reported gap between the two sides, Nylander could very well enter training camp and potentially the season without an extension, which would not be good for anyone involved.

On TSN1050's First Up radio show on Thursday morning, Dave Feschuk said that having Matthews and/or Nylander unsigned by training camp would cause a significant distraction and believes that Nylander could be on his way out as a result.

"If training camp opens and those deals are not closed books then we have a problem. It'll be the conversation that sucks the oxygen out of the room. It'll be the only topic. if I'm betting I would bet that William Nylander is not gunna be done. Auston Matthews will be done but Nylander wont be. It's gunna be the daily Nylander watch....If it comes to having to make a deal and I think it might cause they're pretty far a part," said Feschuk.

Feschuk believes that because of Nylander's stubbornness that the Leafs will and could already be looking to trade him.

"Nylander has a track record of being very staunch in his beliefs of what he's worth and the Leafs are very stanch in what they believe they can pay him. I don't think those two things connect and therefore the Leafs may be in a position where they have to make a move. You gotta trade him, you can't lose him for nothing... I know there's people saying you can have him as your own rental for the year and get the cap space the following summer, I understand but I don't love the idea of a guy on the way out playing without a contract, it doesn't bode well for me if I'm in that room."

Nylander is reportedly seeking an AAV of $10M+ over an 8-year deal while the Leafs are reportedly looking to sign him for under $9M per season on the same length of contract. Neither side has moved from where they started and given how Nylander's last negotiation went, and the fact that Brad Treliving was in the same position with Johnny Gaudreau last off-season, you can bet that Treliving has wanted to get this sorted already or at least before training camp. If he is unable to it would not be surprising to see Nylander traded prior to or during training camp to remove the distraction from the room.

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