Many people across the National Hockey League have been greatly impressed with the first few moves made by new general manager Kyle Dubas in his new endeavour with the Toronto Maple Leafs. I mean come on': the guy managed to bring in superstar forward John Tavares - it's hard to think he is doing a poor job.
However, the new Leafs GM made concerning comments on another star player on the roster: free agent William Nylander. It seems like the Toronto fan base might not enjoy where this could be heading.
When asked about the ongoing contract negotiations with Nylander, Dubas mentioned that patience is important with potential long-term deals. He maintains that he wants players to sign because they know and understand the vision for team, and not agree to a long-term deal and then regret it a year later for any reason.
After the blockbuster signing of Tavares, Dubas did explain that he would be holding on to Nylander, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.
“We can, and we will,” Dubas told Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek on this week’s episode of 31 Thoughts: The Podcast.
Some comparables for deal with Marner appears to be Boston Bruins forward David Pastrnak. The Sporting News webpage recently offered a detailed comparison of deals that could be presented to Nylander, and even Marner next summer.
"While (Pastrnak) was considerably more productive in the third year of his entry-level deal (his production jumped to 70 points after season of 26 and 27) Pastrank's total points per-game over the life of that deal was 0.72. Like Nylander and Marner, he was a first-round draft pick, and his extension was signed in September 2017, just prior to this past season, where the cap $75 million, before increasing nearly $5 million this summer.
Pastrnak got a six-year, $40 million contract, an annual average value of $6.6 million. The Maple Leafs could attempt to bridge one or both of Nylander or Marner, but at 22 and 21 years old, respectively, they would need to be prepared for the player to be hitting his prime when that contract expires, instead of electing to go with term and buying some of those UFA years down the road. But if a bridge deal brings down the dollar value, it will leave the Maple Leafs with some cap flexibility because, again, it looks like Matthews and Tavares will soon eat up in excess of $20 million between them."
Dubas did mention we had to be patient, but let's just hope it does not lead to a trade or bad decision on the Leafs' part...