Maple Leafs beginning to test trade market for William Nylander

Ron MacLean, Nick Kypreos, Chris Johnston and Elliotte Friedman have an update for the William Nylander contract saga with the Toronto Maple Leafs, have news out of Pittsburgh and much more.

Negotiations between the Toronto Maple Leafs and William Nylander are reaching a breaking point and the next phase is beginning.

The team is exploring the option of trading the 22-year-old forward, as the restricted free agent continues his contract standoff.

“They’re at a point where they’re beginning to test the market,” Elliotte Friedman said Saturday during the Headlines segment on Hockey Night in Canada. “Word is that they have asked teams to inform them who teams or interested parties would not be willing to move and also to begin to preparing formal offers for the unsigned Toronto winger.”

Friedman added that Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas declined to comment when asked if this was true.

Nick Kypreos reported that he has heard the team’s priority remains to sign the eighth-overall pick from 2014 and that talks are ongoing. Kypreos added that some have suggested to him the Maple Leafs may be willing to give Nylander a contract similar to the six-year, $40-million deal David Pastrnak of the Boston Bruins signed in 2017 but that no official offer has been made.

A shorter bridge contract for Nylander is also among the options Dubas and his staff still have to consider.

“We do believe that if the Leafs are going to make a short-term deal it might not come until the end of November in the last minute,” Kypreos said. “A lot of suggestions saying that number would have to be around $18 million for three years but right now still no traction.”

Nylander must sign a contract before Dec. 1 otherwise he won’t be eligible to play in 2018-19.

The Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings are two of the teams reportedly interested in pursuing the talented Swede.

In other Leafs news, Kypreos said there have “still been no meaningful contract negotiations with [Auston] Matthews or [Mitch] Marner, so it doesn’t appear to be a top priority just yet for Leafs.”

Both Matthews and Marner are set to become restricted free agents following this season.


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