Radio host affirms that the Leafs need to play hardball with Nylander camp

Published July 18, 2023 at 10:32

The Leafs and William Nylander continue to hold firm on their respective stances during contract negotiations. The Leafs are reportedly offering Nylander an extension that will pay him under $9M per season while it is being reported that Nylander is seeking $10M+ per season. The stalemate between the two sides has also caused a delay in signing Auston Matthews to his extension as it has been mentioned by media members that Matthews won't be signed until Nylander is signed. Yesterday on SportsCentre, OverDrive host Bryan Hayes was asked about the situation and whether or not the Leafs should consider trading Nylander at some point during the season if they are unable to agree on an extension. Hayes took the opportunity to subtly fire a shot at Kyle Dubas' inability to hold firm on his previous negotiations but also implied the new Leaf regime needs to grow a pair.

"I'm not sure you have to (trade Nylander). This is a cap system. If he walks, that is not ideal. But if he walks after a great year and they actually do something in the playoffs, so be it. They still got a lot of value out of Nylander in terms of what he's brought during his time in Toronto and that cap space will be open next year when the cap is allegedly supposed to go up. If Nylander is dead set on getting $10M plus and the Leafs are not willing to go there, the Leafs should not budge. If he walks, he walks. Brendan Shanahan and now Brad Treliving have to have confidence in their program and have a backbone when it comes to negotiating. It was a huge issue the last time they went through this with Nylander, Matthews and Marner, they've been paying for it ever since.

You have to learn from past mistakes. They have to set a number, and if he doesn't like it, so be it. I wouldn't trade him though. I don't think you trade him for the sake of it. If there's a great deal out there, go for it, but that should happen anyway. If there's a deal that makes your team better, go for it, like it should be throughout the league. I don't think the Leafs should feel at any point they have to do anything and that includes the idea of letting him play it out. He's a very good player they're going to be a very good team, but the team isn't going to fold if he walks." - Bryan Hayes on Nylander

Hayes is speaking for many Leaf fans when it comes to Nylander's negotiations, as the vast majority don't believe that Nylander is worth $10M+ per season. Yes, he is coming off of a 40-goal, 87-point campaign and has been very good over the term of his contract, but if you look at other wingers, including Alex DeBrincat, who just signed a 4-year extension worth $7.875M per season, Nylander should not be commanding more than $10M per season, even if he's committing 8 years.

July 18   |   353 answers
Radio host affirms that the Leafs need to play hardball with Nylander camp

Is William Nylander a $10M player?

Yes7320.7 %
No28079.3 %
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