Rumour: Nylander and Karlsson's fates may be intertwined

Published July 29, 2023 at 12:04
BY MIKE ARMENTI

The Leafs reportedly remain one of the teams interested in Erik Karlsson, as per Karlsson himself, who had revealed recently that he has had conversations with the Leafs about potentially coming to Toronto. The other interested parties are believed to be Carolina, Pittsburgh and Seattle.

Talks have hit a bit of a standstill on Karlsson this week, with a recent report suggesting that the Sharks have been presented with offers that didn't quite measure up to what they feel the value of the player actually is. For the teams interested, the sticking point remains the Sharks' unwillingness to eat more than 20% of his salary, which would lower his cap hit to $9.2M from $11.5M. However, according to one popular rumour site, Nylander may be holding up the line as well.

"The big Domino here is Nylander and Toronto. I believe the Sharks like the Leafs package the most, but so far only Pittsburgh and Carolina have actually figured out ways to make the money work. The Leafs can't consider this without moving Nylander and unfortunately for them, everyone knows this there is no immediately rush yet." - Eklund, Hockey Buzz on the Leafs and Erik Karlsson

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Nylander is on the books for $6.96M for one more season, but is due a huge raise on his next deal. The 27-year-old winger has been eligible to sign an extension for the last 4 weeks, but his $10M+ ask has really put the Leafs at a bit of a standstill, and until they can either close the gap in negotiations or make the tough decision to move the player to the highest bidder, it may put any other significant decisions on hold.

Of course, this isn't to say that Nylander would be dealt to San Jose, because the Sharks could very well be one of the teams on Nylander's 10-team no-trade list. If that's the case, the Leafs would first have to find Nylander a new home, opening up nearly $7M before they could commit to bringing in another big ticket player like Karlsson, even at a reduced $9.2M cap hit. The Leafs would also have to make a subsequent move to become cap compliant, which could involve moving T.J. Brodie to open up a spot in the lineup for Karlsson as well. To be clear, I'm not suggesting that Nylander and Brodie will be moved, I'm simply discussing some of the options that the Leafs have to open up the space that they would need to pursue such a trade.
POLL
July 29   |   326 answers
Rumour: Nylander and Karlsson's fates may be intertwined

What will happen first; a Nylander sign/trade or a Karlsson deal?

Nylander will be signed or traded18657.1 %
Karlsson will be traded14042.9 %
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