With 20 days remaining to sign William Nylander to a contract, the Toronto Maple Leafs have asked teams to indicate what players they would offer for Nylander – as well as what teams would not be willing to trade, according to Elliotte Friedman of Hockey Night in Canada.
Obviously, the team would prefer to lock Nylander up to either a bridge deal or a long-term deal to get him back within their fold, but this is the first sign that Toronto and general manager Kyle Dubas have reached a point that they have to admit that the team is in trouble and their long-term plan of locking up all their restricted free agents isn’t going as planned. Nylander is rumored to be asking for as much as $8MM per season, while the team is much more interested in signing him to a more reasonable $6MM deal. So far neither side is willing to budge and with time starting to run out (he must be signed by Dec. 1 to be eligible to play this season).
If the team truly intends to trade Nylander, they should be able to bring in quite a haul for the 22-year-old goal scorer as he has the potential to be a franchise player for many teams. There have been consistent rumors coming out of both Carolina and Minnesota as Carolina has made it clear they would like a franchise-changing forward and the team has quite a bit of defensive depth, including Justin Faulk as well as younger, cheaper options such as Brett Pesce to include in a package. Minnesota is rumored to have offered defenseman Jared Spurgeon in a package as well. However, with an indication to all teams, the Maple Leafs are willing to make a deal, there could be a much larger contingent of teams willing to make offers to net a player like Nylander.