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William Nylander surprises a lot of people with his actions before Leafs' pre-season opener


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Mike Armenti
September 25, 2023  (12:00)
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In the weeks since Auston Matthews signed his mammoth new 4-year deal in Toronto, worth a record-setting $13.25M per season, the focus has shifted to the contract status of William Nylander, who is entering the final year of his previous contract, which pays him just under $7M per season.

Nylander has become a star since signing his contract in December of 2018, following his infamous holdout. Still, even with the Swedish winger having broken out and proven his worth to the organization time and time again, the team would not bend to his will and meet his $10M+ ask on a new contract, leaving him in a bit of a lame duck scenario ahead of the 2023-24 season.
Last week, following the opening of NHL training camps, the latest on Nylander was that he was done talking about his contract situation. He had emphasized that he desires to remain a Leaf but that he would not continue to field questions regarding his contract status.
On Sunday, the Leafs and Senators opened their respective pre-seasons in a game that occurred at Canadian Tire Centre in Ottawa, with the puck dropping shortly after 2:00pm ET. However, while Nylander was supposed to be preparing himself for the game, he was actually doing something that provided a pretty good indication as to where his heart lies. He was spotted helping the Leafs' staff bring in some equipment.
You don't often see players helping in this capacity - never mind a player with a star status like Nylander has. To see Nylander aiding his team's staff like that, not only does it show how humble and grounded he is, but it also shows that he cares about the organization.
If anyone had any doubts that Nylander wanted to remain a Leaf before yesterday, I think we can probably lay those doubts to rest. Nobody who wants to leave an organization is going to be helping out the staff like Nylander did on Sunday.
Do you think Nylander really does want to remain a Leaf? Let us know in the poll below:
POLL
SEPTEMBER 25   |   148 ANSWERS
William Nylander surprises a lot of people with his actions before Leafs' pre-season opener

Do you think William Nylander will re-sign with the Leafs either during the season or next summer?

Yes, I think Willy remains a Leaf7550.7 %
No, I think he's gone3825.7 %
It's too early to tell2114.2 %
See results149.5 %
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