The odds may be in favor of William Nylander and the Leafs eventually coming to an agreement on a contract instead of Toronto having to deal the restricted free agent, but trade scenarios have to at least be considered.
During a Wednesday afternoon Leafs Lunch appearance on Toronto’s TSN 1050, Pierre LeBrun was asked if perhaps the Carolina Hurricanes and Anaheim Ducks “would be two leading candidates” in any possible trade plot given their depth on defense, having young assets to deal, and each with a need for scoring.
Brandon Montour and Jaccob Slavin were mentioned specifically by co-host Gord Miller.
“I know that the player that I believe Carolina and Toronto talked about this summer was Justin Faulk at the time,” indicated LeBrun. “But that was a whole different scenario and it didn’t involve Nylander. I don’t think it went very fall at all, whatever it was.
“The Hurricanes absolutely love Slavin - I mean like love him - so I don’t see that, Gord.
“But keep in mind, and I’ve talked to a couple of GMs about this, it’s one thing A) liking William Nylander and B) being willing to move some pretty good assets to get him. So far, I know some teams are willing to do those those first two things. The problem is 3) the same problem the Leafs have with Nylander, is what a couple of teams are concerned about having themselves, which is, ‘What’s the number we can sign him to?’
“So we’re sort of back to the start with some of these scenarios.
“And the other thing to keep in mind, as you guys know: What’s fascinating to me is that I think that there are some teams simply keeping in touch with the Leafs on this and the Leafs, I think, continue to tell teams, ‘We’re not interested in moving him.’ But of course there are teams also, I believe reaching out directly to Lewis Gross and the Nylander camp because they’re allowed - he’s a free agent.
“So there are two ways to go about it, I guess is what I’m saying, to continue to keep an eye on it if you’re a team, and stay vigilant on it - the team that can trade his rights, but also the camp that decides what he’s going to sign for.
“It’s an interesting dynamic that way. It’s not just a two-party thing, it’s got some moving parts.”
Nylander is coming out of his entry-level contract, and the young forward has missed four games for the Leafs - who are 3-1-0 - thus far this season.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly