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Maple Leafs Tough Decision Puts Star Player On The Brink Of Leaving The Team


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Hunter Bowman
December 15, 2023  (10:32)
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The Toronto Maple Leafs face a challenging task in securing a contract for William Nylander while navigating a tight cap space, existing contracts, and ongoing player negotiations. With Nylander seeking a substantial contract extension and key players like Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner already committed to significant deals, the Leafs find themselves in a tough position.

According to insights from Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos, Justin Bourne, and Sam McKee, the Leafs might need to make a choice between Nylander and Marner. Marner, having signed a six-year, $65,408,000 deal with the Leafs in September 2019, appears to be untouchable in Toronto. The reporters highlighted agent Lewis Gross's involvement and hinted at Nylander's potential interest in testing free agency in July.
Sam McKee pointed out:
«Well, the thing that stuck out to me about this piece, and it's like seeing it laid out in front of me, was the Lewis Gross aspect of this maybe they just want to go to UFA.»

The dynamic between Nylander and Marner is crucial, as losing the former could impact negotiations with the latter in the following summer. The fear of losing both elite wingers adds complexity to Toronto's salary cap management, requiring extreme caution.
Justin Bourne emphasized:
«Well, sure. And you know, the scary part, you know, again mentioned in this piece is just that if you lose Willy Nylander, like let's say you're like okay, we value the cap space or we were going to trade him at the deadline, or whatever, if you don't have Willy on your roster, and then it's Mitch Marner's turn for negotiation, you're screwed, because you can't lose them both.»

Adding to the challenge, the Maple Leafs cannot afford to lose a player like Nylander for nothing in the free-agent market, akin to what happened to Treliving and the Calgary Flames with Johnny Gaudreau.
Bourne further noted:
«Treliving has made it clear he doesn't want to do the (Johnny) Gaudreau thing again where he just gets, I can't do anything and the guy just leaves.»

With Gross potentially steering Nylander towards free agency, the looming question is whether a blockbuster trade is on the horizon for Toronto.
Source: Hockeyfeed
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15 DECEMBRE   |   289 ANSWERS
Maple Leafs Tough Decision Puts Star Player On The Brink Of Leaving The Team

Out of Toronto Maple Leafs «Core Four» who should be traded?

Auston Matthews3211.1 %
Mitch Marner5619.4 %
William Nylander9231.8 %
John Tavares10937.7 %
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