The fact William Nylander must sign a contract before 5 p.m. ET on Dec. 1 in order to be eligible to play during the 2018-19 NHL campaign doesn’t guarantee a resolution with the Toronto Maple Leafs is right around the corner.
The Maple Leafs are willing to let that deadline pass, which would see the talented Swedish winger miss the entire season, according to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston.
“If there isn’t a trade that presents itself — and we spoke last week about the fact that they are gauging the market on William Nylander, and William Nylander’s demands don’t come to the range that they’re comfortable paying — they’re comfortable letting this player sit and I think that’s significant with the fact that it’s 13-plus days remaining and tensions only to get a little higher as we get closer to Dec. 1,” Johnston said Saturday during the Headlines segment of Hockey Night in Canada.
Michael Peca is the last player to miss an entire season due to a contract dispute when as a 26-year-old he sat out the entirety of 2000-01 as a member of the Buffalo Sabres.
The Carolina Hurricanes and Los Angeles Kings are two of the teams reportedly interested in pursuing Nylander. Based on his age, talent and upside, the cost to acquire the eighth-overall pick from 2014 won’t be cheap.
According to Nick Kypreos, there are multiple teams willing to pay Nylander in the ballpark of $7 million annually, which at this time appears to be a price the Maple Leafs feel is too high.
“[Nylander] understands that there’s a better market out there right now than the one that the Toronto Maple Leafs are offering,” Kypreos said.