We usually like to update you when there is something new and positive in a situation, however, when it comes back to the contract stalemate between the Toronto Maple Leafs and free agent forward William Nylander, we are afraid this update will not cheer you up.
According to many NHL insiders in the league, including TSN's Darren Dreger and Bob McKenzie, both camps haven’t moved much from their opening positions, with the Leafs believed offering a six-year deal worth $6-million annually while the Nylander side’s initial asking price was over $8-million annually. However, the Leafs have to be careful and it's probably why they aren't budging: anything north of $6.5-million annually will affect contract negotiations with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, who will become restricted free agents in the summer of 2019.
It is still believed that the Leafs are not pushing to trade their young forward. However, according to TVA Sports' Renaud Lavoie and Louis Jean, there is an obvious destination for Nylander and this team could finally convince the Leafs to pull the trigger on a Nylander trade.
Lavoie revealed that one rival team has informed him that they would be very surprised if the Nashville Predators didn’t move one of their defensemen because they’ll eventually have to do it one way or another. With this in mind, Lavoie believes the Preds become an ideal and obvious trade partner for the Maple Leafs. Jean added that defender Mattias Ekholm would be the obvious trade candidate and Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas could be willing to hear out Preds GM David Poile on this pitch.
It is no secret that the Leafs need a boost on the blue line and if Nylander can bring forward a quality defenseman while freeing up some cap space in Toronto for star players like Matthews and Marner, Dubas might have no other choice...
In the meantime, what plays hard against Nylander is the fact that Matthews and new star player John Tavares are unstoppable at the moment, and Toronto has yet to suffer from the absence of Nylander in the roster...
Last night, the Leafs won 5-3 over the Detroit Red Wings, as Matthews scored his ninth goal in just five contests and Tavares is now up to 10 points with his new team.
You can see the game recap from last night in the video atop of this article.