How much longer will it be before the Leafs truly entertain the notion of trading William Nylander?
The restricted free agent has yet to sign a contract with his team, and there doesn’t appear to be any progress on that front whatsoever.
“I think they’re at a total standstill,” offered Elliotte Friedman during a Monday afternoon appearance on NHL Network. “There was some optimism last week after a couple of meetings between the general manager, Kyle Dubas, and Lewis Gross, who represents William Nylander. It looked as if we were trending in a good direction - that stopped. It’s just two sides in a trench, and they’re not really moving anywhere.
“I think the next question is do we get to a point where Toronto decides they might trade Nylander. And I don’t think they’re there yet, I don’t believe that’s what they want to do. I still believe that their first choice, second choice, third choice, fourth choice, and fifth choice is to re-sign him; but when you take a look at the little tour Kyle Dubas took last week, he’s not just going to see hockey. I know he likes to watch games, but you look at some of those teams he went and saw - Los Angeles, Minnesota, Carolina, Philadelphia - those are some of the teams I think that make the most sense as a potential Nylander destination.”
As Friedman alluded, and as the Insiders have repeatedly mentioned in recent weeks during the countless times they’ve been asked about Nylander, Dubas has reportedly been telling rival GMs inquiring about Nylander that the Leafs have no interest in trading him.
At what point might that intention shift as the impasse drags on though?
If the Leafs do eventually decide to go the trade route here, Darren Dreger noted earlier Monday that “there’s no shortage of interest in William Nylander,” and if he were to handicap the field, he’d put “the Carolina Hurricanes right near the top of the page of teams that are interested in Nylander.”
Contract-related info via CapFriendly