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Contact Standoff Continues Between Leafs, Nylander

Contact Standoff Continues Between Leafs, Nylander
Published On: Tue, Oct 09
Apr 4, 2016; Toronto, Ontario, CAN; Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander (39) looks to pass the puck against the Florida Panthers during the second period at Air Canada Centre. Mandatory Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Barely a week into the 2018-19 NHL season, William Nylander's contract impasse with the Toronto Maple Leafs dominates the rumor mill.

A restricted free agent completing an entry-level contract, Nylander has no leverage in negotiations with the Leafs other than withholding his services. On Saturday, Sportsnet'sA Nick Kypreos reportedA the 22-year-old still wants a long-term agreement.

Kypreos' colleague Chris Johnston said the Nylander camp initially sought a deal comparable to the $8.5-million annual salary-cap hit of Edmonton Oilers center Leon Draisaitl. Reportedly, Draisaitla€™s side has not come down below $8 million while the Leafs prefer something in the range of $6 million to 6.5 million.

Frustration with Nylander appears to be creeping into the Leafs front office. Citing comments last week by Leafs president Brendan Shanahan,A TSN's Pierre LeBrun saidA the feeling is they cannot afford to re-sign Nylander, fellow young stars Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, and pending unrestricted free agent defenseman Jake Gardiner at full market value. However, if they're willing to accept a little less, the Leafs could be a winning team for many years.

In other words, the Leafs would prefer those four accepting a€œhometown discountsa€ to stay in Toronto. Holding all the leverage with players coming out of entry-level deals should give management the advantage, but Nylander, Matthews and Marner aren't ordinary players. They are the core around which the Leafs hope to build a roster that ends the club's five-decade Stanley Cup drought.

Re-signing them will be expensive. There's already talk of Matthews, as the Leafs franchise player, possibly getting around $12.5 million per season on his next deal. Keep in mind, John Tavares is already signed for seven years and $77A  million.

Read the complete news article here...

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