Friedman on Nylander, Panthers’ internal pressure to win

The December 1 deadline looms for William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

Elliotte Friedman had a Tuesday afternoon radio hit on Vancouver’s Sportsnet 650, and was asked if he knew of any movement related to the restricted free agent..

“Not as far as I can tell. Not as far as I can tell,” indicated Friedman. “Not contract-wise. We’ll see if this ends up being a bridge deal at the end, but I don’t see anything as far as I can tell.

“I’m really curious about trade partners too. I think there’s a few teams interested, but I think Toronto knows it’s still got a good player and wants to get a lot for him.”

Friedman was asked about the possibility of the Florida Panthers on the trade front, and whether or not they might have the needed assets for such a deal.

“My question with Florida is not the assets - it’s how much do they want to pay him,” countered Friedman. “If you take a look at their guys, they’ve got a lot of good, long-term contracts signed there. Barkov is just under $6 million, Huberdeau is in the same area. If this is a guy who’s looking between 7 and 8, maybe settling in the 7 or low 7s, that’s going to be more than your best players. And I could see some teams being resistant of that.

“So to me, I think Florida probably could do it. I think they would have some pieces Toronto would want. But I’m not sure that salary-wise that’s what the Panthers would want to do.”

Aleksander Barkov is in the third season of a six-year, $35.4 million pact that carries a $5.9 million cap hit.

Jonathan Huberdeau is in the second season of his six-year, $35.4 million contract.

As the conversation continued on 650, Friedman was asked if there were any other players they could target for trade.

“Because Florida feels like it’s in a situation where it’s been too many years of, ‘Oh well, this happened so we didn’t make it this time,’ and that there’s a real - urgency might be the wrong word - but a real push to have something happen this season.”

“I agree with that,” replied Friedman. “I think there’s a lot of pressure there. I think they feel it.

“Luongo, for example, wasn’t supposed to come back in Finland, and when they lost that first game he charged back and played the second one. And he basically single-handedly put them back in the playoff hunt, even early in the year.

“So yes, I do think there’s a lot of internal pressure there. I would not be surprised at all if they’re looking around pretty seriously. But Trocheck is going to be a hard guy to replace. It’s going to be hard to find somebody who can do what guy did without really subtracting from your team.

“So you’re looking at losing Trocheck, and then you’re looking at losing whatever you have to lose to get him back - or something like him back. There’s not a lot of teams that can do that. I think it’s going to be very hard for them to do that and pay the salary that Nylander is going to be asking.

“But I do believe that Florida is looking at this year as, ‘We’ve got to get there, or there could be consequences.’”


Contract-related info via CapFriendly