Leafs and Islanders reportedly working on blockbuster deal

Published August 19, 2023 at 2:38 PM
BY RYAN SMITHERAM

It's been six weeks since William Nylander and Auston Matthews have been able to sign extensions and we have yet to see them out pen to paper. The hope is that one or both get signed before training camp begins in a month, but at least with Nylander, that does not seem feasible.

The longer Nylander and the Leafs sit dug into their asks, the more likely it is that Nylander finds himself in a different jersey when the season begins. According to Eklund of Hockey Buzz, that may appear to be happening sooner rather than later. He has reported that the Leafs and Islanders are in discussions figuring out a massive trade that would send Nylander to the Islanders. That return likely involves one of the Islanders' top up-and-coming players in along with a pick and Jean-Gabriel Pageau.

JGP coming over from the Islanders would be more of a salary balance than anything although he is one of the premiere defensive centers in the league. The key piece in a deal could be Oliver Wahlstrom. The 6'2, 210 pound right winger would give the Leafs some much needed size on the right side. The 23-year-old had 16 points in 35 games last season before a season ending injury. Wahlstrom has 1 year left on his current deal that will see him earn just $874K but will be an RFA and have arbitration rights upon expiry.

The move could free up a ton of valuable cap space for the Leafs if their plan is to try to get Matthews to commit to an 8-year deal instead of a 3-5 year deal that has been reported. Now, it is just a matter of if the two sides can work out a deal.


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Leafs and Islanders reportedly working on blockbuster deal

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