William Nylander remains an unsigned restricted free agent, and it sounds like the Leafs are doing more work behind the scenes in case they need to trade their young star.
Darren Dreger had a First Up appearance on Toronto’s TSN 1050, where he was asked for his latest information on Nylander’s situation.
“Not a lot, just more speculation that the possibility of trade is clawing towards reality,” indicated Dreger. “Now that’s not to suggest there’s firm reason to believe he will be traded, it’s just the timing, and the fact that the Toronto Maple Leafs have to do their due diligence to make sure that they’ve got every scenario fully prepared if they’ve got to make a move.
“Not having William Nylander play isn’t an option, and it’s surprising still to me - and we haven’t hit the eleventh hour yet, it’s creeping close to that with December 1 looming - but it’s surprising to me that frankly the player hasn’t taken more control of this process.
“Now, again, we don’t know officially what the numbers are. I’ve got to believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs have come up. Have they gone beyond 6.5 annual? Don’t know that. Don’t know that.
“But you guys just mentioned David Pastrnak coming into this segment. The Maple Leafs have felt all along that they weren’t comfortable getting up to David Pastrnak number at just over $6.7 million. I think we can understand why.
“And again, in fairness, David Pastrnak - when he signed that deal, that extension with the Boston Bruins - I mean, the Bruins took some heat for signing him to that deal, which is absurd. And now it looks like Boston has got great value, and perhaps a bargain in David Pastrnak given the way he played last year and he’s playing this year.
“But all of that being said, whatever the negotiation is - is it ongoing, is it stalled - what we know is that the Toronto Maple Leafs are at least more aggressively looking at trade options. I wouldn’t say they’re in negotiations to make a trade, but they’re at least lining up teams - maybe even players and assets - if they’ve got to pull the trigger.”
Pastrnak’s six-year, $40 million deal with the Boston Bruins was signed in September of 2017, and was his second NHL contract.
Nylander is coming out of his entry-level deal.
Contract-related info via CapFriendly