No one expected the Toronto Maple Leafs to adapt so well to the absence of forward William Nylander, who has yet to agree to a contract extension with the team. For now, fans and management are missing Nylander less, especially since Kasperi Kapanen’s play has exceeded expectations so far this season. The kid has looked pretty good alongside Auston Matthews and Patrick Marleau during Sunday’s wild 7-6 win over the Chicago Blackhawks, and appears to take his role seriously while the stalemate lingers...
With this surprising position in mind, NHL rumors specialist Lyle Richardson wonders if the Maple Leafs could finally decide to pull the trigger on a trade.
TSN’s Darren Dreger revealed last week that the Leafs have received calls from other clubs inquiring into Nylander’s availability. While new GM Kyle Dubas insists he’s not trading the 22-year-old forward, Dreger wondered if he might reconsider should this impasse drag on into November.
If Dubas considers trading Nylander, Richardson believes another Canadian team could be the perfect trade partner. Richardson thinks the Winnipeg Jets might be willing to make a splash this season, especially after they came close to making it to the Stanley Cup Finals last season, losing to the Vegas Golden Knights in the Western Conference Finals. He also adds that the trade could be a player for player swap, one that could fix a major issue in Toronto:
"Defenseman Jacob Trouba has a history of contentious contract negotiations with the Jets. He’s currently on a one-year, arbitration-awarded deal and once again becomes a restricted free agent with arbitration rights next summer. Rather than go through another difficult round of contract talks, perhaps the Jets will consider moving him.
It’s assumed the Jets won’t trade Trouba during this season but maybe they might reconsider if the Leafs were to offer up Nylander in a one-for-one swap."
For the moment, this remains only a speculation. However, the last update on the contract stalemate in Toronto revealed that both sides are still far apart dollar-wise. The Nylander camp hasn’t come down below $8 million annually while the Leafs prefer something between $6-million to $6.5 million per season.
It remains to be seen if the Leafs will continue to hammer down a potential agreement, or if they will call up the Jets for a possible major trade...