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William Nylander: The Leafs have definitely considered trading him
Now that Auston Matthews has signed his new contract in Toronto, the focus is on William Nylander.

Will he be traded before the trade deadline?

Will he sign a contract extension with the Leafs?

Will he test the autonomy market next summer?

If not in Toronto, where will he play in 24-25?

Yeah. These are always, always the same questions that come up when we talk about him in the Queen City and around the NHL.

When players like him become “available”, there’s a lot of talk. It makes sense, because William Nylander is an impact player, because he scored 40 goals last year and because he’s one of the best offensive talents on the Bettman circuit.

The Leafs would probably have signed him by now if he had the salary demands the team was looking for. Nylander is rumoured to be looking for a salary in the neighbourhood of $10 million per season, a difficult proposition given the high wage earners already on the roster…

And the problem we all know about at the moment is that Brad Treliving (GM) could lose him for nothing if the Swede agrees with another team when the (next) free agent market opens.

And that’s why he’s considering trading him this summer. The problem? Treliving didn’t like the offers he received for the star player’s services, according to Elliotte Friedman.

The bottom line… Even if there’s a chance he’ll leave for free in the summer of 2024, that doesn’t mean the Leafs’ GM has to sell him out just yet.

Not for the time being, at least.

Perhaps the story will be different at the next trade deadline if the Leafs think they can compete for the Stanley Cup even with Nylander out of the lineup.

But we all agree that any team needs a Willy-Ny in its lineup.

Barring a return he can’t refuse, and barring a return that has the potential to help the Leafs quickly on the ice, I don’t see why Brad Treliving would decide to send him elsewhere if his club is in the thick of the playoff race…

But the idea of trading him during the season to fill a need at defense or goaltender could also come back on the table. We’re talking, but if Ilya Samsonov and Joseph Woll don’t get the job done in front of the net and a John Gibson or Connor Hellebuyck becomes available, it could get downright interesting…

Because we know how weak the team has been in front of the net since Frederik Andersen left.

There will be ways to be creative, and Brad Treliving will have to make a decision pretty quickly. Otherwise, William Nylander will be leaving the organization in just over 12 months…

And there’s no NHL team that can afford to lose the services of such a player for free.

In gusto

– A fine example of perseverance.

– Damn. A particularly tough US Open for our representatives.

– The harsh reality of student-athletes.

– Well deserved!

– Josh Donaldson is no longer a member of the Yankees.

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