McKenzie on Nylander, Leafs: ‘Both sides seem incredibly dug in’

William Nylander is still without a contract, and it seems the situation is piquing the interest of more and more teams around the league.

Bob McKenzie shared his latest during a Tuesday evening TV hit on TSN.

“Last week at this time, there was this sense of building momentum, like there was some positivity to build on, and that maybe last week was going to be the week when the impasse or stalemate would be broken,” recalled McKenzie. “Here we are a week later and no, not at all. Both sides seem incredibly dug in. And while neither side is saying anything about it, I do get the sense that there may be frustration on both sides that the other side is not seeing it their way.

“Now, people wonder, ‘Well, what happens next.’ The logical question people are going to ask is, ‘Would the Toronto Maple Leafs consider trading William Nylander?’ I believe that their primary focus remains to try and sign William Nylander.

“But as this thing carries on, one thing I do believe is happening - as it stretches out, more teams in the National Hockey League are looking at it and saying, ‘This may be an opportunity for us. Perhaps the Leafs will change their mind about not trading William Nylander and only focused on signing him.’

“So I do believe that the level of activity with other clubs calling the Leafs is picking up, and that as time goes along here the Leafs may be in a mode where they will start to listen harder than they have in the past.

“Although basic point - the Leafs still want to sign him, not trade him. But the trade option is maybe something that may need to be considered.”

Nylander is a restricted free agent without a contract, and is coming out of his entry-level deal.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly