Friedman on Nylander: ‘I think Carolina is right in there’

William Nylander’s camp and the Toronto Maple Leafs continue to be at odds over a new contract, which may eventually lead to a trade of the restricted free agent.

Elliotte Friedman had a Monday afternoon radio hit on Calgary’s Sportsnet 960, and was asked where things stood with the stalemate.

“I don’t think there’s much going on contract-wise,” noted Friedman. “The one thing, people were like, ‘Do teams need permission to talk to him.’ You don’t. He’s not signed. He’s a restricted free agent, so anybody can talk to him and teams have.

“I think the thing that’s interesting is that I do think they know that Carolina is very interested. I said that on the weekend. I think Carolina has some of what they want. I think the Kings are very interested, I just don’t think the Kings have what they want. I think Minnesota is interested, I’m not convinced Minnesota has what they want - I just don’t know, to be perfectly honest.

“I think there’s other teams too, but I think Carolina is right in there. He fits the kind of thing Carolina would want to do. Carolina has got to get Aho done, they’ve got to get Teravainen done, they’ve got to get your old guy - Ferland - done. But I don’t think that’s going to prevent them from necessarily doing anything with him. And I do think there’s a lot of interest.

“I would think that Toronto is going to take - I don’t know if another chance is the right answer - but I think they’re determined they’re going to be patient, and they’re going to see where this goes. But we’re three weeks away now. He’s got to sign by December 1 or he can’t play.

“I think Toronto always wanted to keep him, but I think there’s a realization now that that might not be possible.”

As the conversation on 960 continued, Friedman was asked if it was safe to assume that a right-shot defenseman would be the coveted return for the Leafs in any potential Nylander trade, or if it might be another form of player.

“I think you would have to assume everything,” considered Friedman. “I think they would love to get a defenseman or a right-shot D, but if you’re taking Nylander off your roster, you might need another forward.

“Look, Kapanen has played well in Toronto this year, but Marleau has not to this point and neither has Johnsson, who’s a guy that they were really counting on. He was the MVP of the Calder Cup playoffs last year, and he hasn’t gotten to the next level.

“To me, what Toronto is going to look at they’re going to look at skill. They really like Nylander and they recognize how skilled he is. They’re going to want skill in some way back.

“So I think it’s obvious to say right-hand D, but I think if you’re subtracting him from your roster, you’re subtracting a skilled player and they might look back at that too.”

Friedman has also recently mentioned the possibility of the Philadelphia Flyers potentially being a stealth team on the Nylander front, and that “they have pieces” he thinks Toronto could like.