Toronto Maple Leafs: 5 storylines to watch during training camp

TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Frederik Andersen
TORONTO, ON - APRIL 23: Frederik Andersen /
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Toronto Maple Leafs
TORONTO, ON – MARCH 17: William Nylander #29 of the Toronto Maple Leafs gets set to take a faceoff against the Montreal Canadiens during an NHL game at the Air Canada Centre on March 17, 2018 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Canadiens 4-0. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /

1. When does William Nylander sign and report to camp?

There doesn’t seem to be a sense of urgency from either side of the negotiation table but that’s probably a tactic to avoid giving in. A recent update in Elliotte Friedman’s 31 Thoughts suggests that both sides are far apart in a deal with Nylander’s camp asking for more than $8 million a season.

Give the Leafs credit as they’ve made this situation a non-issue for the most part considering how other contract disputes have played out in the past. Obviously, it’s not an ideal situation to have Nylander miss the start of camp but Babcock is taking the high road and knows the team has options if this doesn’t get resolved right away.

It should help the Leafs front office in this negotiation to spin off Nylander’s absence as something that’s not a big deal because this takes away leverage from the player in negotiation. At the same time to say a player like Tyler Ennis can fill his shoes would be tough to sell as well.

The Leafs do not open their preseason schedule until Sept. 18 against the Ottawa Senators so the team has until then to sort out the contract situation because once Nylander starts to miss game action it might be tough to get him to get settled in time for the regular season.