Photo: Claus Andersen (Getty) Toronto Maple Leafs, with the newly acquired John Tavares leading the road, enjoys a strong start…
Photo: Claus Andersen (Getty)
Toronto Maple Leafs, with the newly acquired John Tavares leading the road, enjoys a strong start to the 201
8-19 season. With 36 points from 26 matches and the best goal difference in hockey (+26), a team lost a hard-won seven game’s first round series to Bruins last now to be a potential Cup contender. It may be even better for the magazines if one of their best young players returns to the team before Saturday afternoon.
Twenty-five-year-old William Nylander, eighth overall pick in the 2014 draft, has thus far gone from Maple Leaf’s this season because he has no contract. Leaf’s record 18-8-0 does not bother much weakness, and Kasperi Kapanen has risen to fill the void left by Nylander. But the reintroduction of Auston Matthews right man – who made at least 20 goals and retrieved exactly 61 points in each of his two full seasons – would undoubtedly make Toronto even better.
So why not Nylander, a limited free agent, currently has a contract? Hypothetically, when the Nylanders Entrance Division ended last season, any other team in the league could have given him an offer sheet, and the magazines would have to match it to hold him. But limited free agency in NHL is a rather blatant example of what can be generously called easy collaboration. GM, as a manifestly undisputed rule, almost never makes an offer to another layer’s RFA, which makes them blacklisted from future transactions of pissed-off teams.
Add this clear injustice to the fact that Nylander needed a year of experience to be qualified arbitration, and he has pretty much no leverage. As long as there is a gap between the deal, Nylander wants to give him (which is meant to be medium long term), as all Newlands can do right now, refusing to sign the offer and sit out. That’s what he’s doing right now and hangs with younger players in Sweden instead. If he does not sign at 5:00 AM on Saturday, he will be unable to play this season.
The magazine has been extremely optimistic that Nylander will return, even during the week when the clock goes out. Given his conversations with GM Kyle Dubas, chief coach Mike Babcock said on Thursday, “We believe Willy will be here for a long time. We believe he will be a career Leaf. That’s what we think it’s what we believe. “
Added Auston Matthews,” You know he wants to be here and I think everyone expects him to be there soon. “
More adorably, the slightly more nervous Kasperi Kapanen has literally dreamed of Nylanders return:
“I will not lie, I have had some dreams where he has written in my sleep and I wake up and it’s just a big disappointment,” Kasperi Kapanen, New Zealand’s closest pal at Leaf’s, said after training at Thursday afternoon. “I texted him and let him know about it and we had a good laugh. Of course, it would be nice to just have him here.”
Toronto would obviously want Nylander to play this year and Nylander really does not want to waste a season without to get money at all or much less money to play abroad, but the clock tickes. The magazine is probably correct to be crazy about leaving an expensive long term contract in this situation. Matthews, Mitch Marner and Kapanen all make less than $ 1 million this year and become limited free agents next offseason. Matthews surely and probably Marner will also order more than Nylander, so you can screw them very quickly by placing a high bar with Nyland’s contracts. Especially with the deadline so close, a short-term “bridge agreement” seems to be the most likely outcome if both sides are in effect.
Nylander, for its part, could live for the whole season and still return to a solid career à la Michael Peca with the sabren in 2000. Still, even if a late trade or a last minute deal is still may happen, this is a real shitty bond for a child with so much talent to get stuck in. With no arbitration and no other offer the sheet to give him a blow, Nylanders’s fate remains strictly in the hands of some cruel rules, a gentleman’s agreement and they fool the team that elaborated him.