Toronto Maple Leafs: No pressure on William Nylander to sign new deal

BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 5: William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on March 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images)
BUFFALO, NY - MARCH 5: William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during the game against the Buffalo Sabres at KeyBank Center on March 5, 2018 in Buffalo, New York. (Photo by Kevin Hoffman/Getty Images) /

William Nylander says there is no extra urgency to sign with the Toronto Maple Leafs, despite the recent deal agreed by fellow forward, Dylan Larkin.

William Nylander and general manager Kyle Dubas both strike you as cool, calm and collected individuals. Which is just as well, in the Toronto Maple Leafs‘ obsessed media market of Southern Ontario.

Nylander and Dubas have repeatedly said they are feeling no pressure to get a deal agreed. Both have insisted they are confident a new contract will be negotiated in good time.

And yet, this hasn’t stopped media and fans alike speculating, especially as we draw ever closer to training camp. In this respect, the recent Dylan Larkin deal didn’t help.

Like Nylander, Larkin was a restricted free agent. However, that all changed on Aug. 10, when the 22-year-old signed a five-year, $30.5 million deal.

It’s easy to compare the two players, as they are both forwards who are the same age. And the comparisons don’t stop there.

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As noted by Mike Zeisberger of, Larkin has 140 points (56 goals and 84 assists) in 242 NHL games. Meanwhile, Nylander has scored 135 points (48 goals and 87 assists) in 185 NHL appearances.

As such, it was no surprise that Nylander’s contract situation would be brought up again at the next available opportunity, particularly with reference to Larkin’s recent deal. And that opportunity came on Thursday in Stockholm, Sweden, during the NHL and NHLPA’s second European Player Media Tour.

As before though, Nylander feels under no pressure to get a new contract negotiated. As reported by Zeisberger, he said:

"“Right now, once something like that happens, you’re more updated on what’s going on around the League, more educated. But once you sign, I don’t think you pay attention to that. There is no extra pressure or urgency to get something done just because guys like (Larkin) sign.”"

Earlier in the week, we shared comments from The Athletic’s James Mirtle. In particular, Mirtle said he fully expects Nylander to sign a new deal before training camp.

While he wouldn’t necessarily come out and agree with this assessment publicly, Nylander did acknowledge his confidence in the process. As per Zeisberger, he said:

"“I’ve said all along that Kyle wanted to take things slow and I’m fine with that. They’re going back and forth with my agent from what I hear. We’ll see what happens. They said it would take a while and I’m still not worried. When it gets done, it gets done.”"

When factoring in all of this information, there is no reason to believe the Leafs won’t get a deal agreed with Nylander well before the regular season starts. However, one aspect we’re not so sure about, is how long the contract will be for.

The Leafs have also started negotiations with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner, even though they both have one year remaining on their respective entry-level contracts. With this in mind, you have to wonder how the Leafs will be able to sign all three to long-term extensions, given the team’s current salary cap situation.

In fact, even Nylander himself wonders how this will be achieved, especially now that John Tavares is also a member of the team. There has been some speculation that one solution involves the Leafs signing Nylander to a two-year bridge contract.

The 2014 eighth overall draft pick has made it clear he would prefer to sign a long-term deal. As such, it’s going to be an interesting few weeks, as we wait to see how negotiations play out.

Ultimately though, we have no reason to disbelieve Nylander, when he says he feels under no pressure to get a new deal agreed. If anything, all the pressure is on the Leafs, as they look to strike a balance between rewarding the player and keeping the team in a strong position.

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Do you have any concern regarding Nylander’s contract situation with the Toronto Maple Leafs? Or are you fully confident he will be signed before the regular season gets underway? Share your thoughts in the comments section below.