Friedman wonders if Leafs or Canes will budge on Nylander trade

A potential William Nylander trade may come down to a battle of wills between Don Waddell and Kyle Dubas.

Elliotte Friedman had a Friday morning radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and shared his latest sentiment on the restricted free agent forward’s plight with a team that arguably hasn’t yet necessarily missed his presence on the ice.

“I think it’s more likely than not he gets traded,” predicted Friedman. “That Kapanen, he’s really good. But one of the things getting lost in all of this is Nylander is a good player. He’s a really talented player. Dubas is the kind of guy who believes, ‘I want all the talent in the world, and I’ll figure out how to make it all work, or Babcock will.’ But the longer we go, the more it seems to me that he’s going to get dealt.

“The tough thing though is that they really value him, they like him a lot. How many trades do you see out there where they’re not giving up the best player. I think it’s a tough trade to make.

“A lot of the talk is Carolina. I do think that Carolina is willing to deal Pesce, and I think that Toronto wants Slavin - who is an underrated, really talented guy.

“I’m just wondering if either one of those guys is going to budge at all.”

Jaccob Slavin is in the first season of a really attractive seven-year, $37.1 million contract that carries a $5.3 million cap hit.

Brett Pesce’s six-year, $24.15 million pact comes with a favorable $4.025 million cap hit as well.

The Leafs’ preference has reportedly been to sign and keep Nylander, but if Nylander doesn’t have a contract in place by the December 1 RFA deadline, he won’t be eligible to play in the NHL this season.

Contract-related info via CapFriendly