Toronto Maple Leafs: Brendan Shanahan sets tone with message to William Nylander

Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Kyle Dubas and Brendan Shanahan of the Toronto Maple Leafs handle the draft table during the 2018 NHL Draft. (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /

Toronto Maple Leafs president Brendan Shanahan made it clear what his expectations are for his young players while sending a message to William Nylander.

Since taking over as the president of the Toronto Maple Leafs, Brendan Shanahan made it his mission to change the culture of the team, and make sure they are a contender for multiple years rather than be one and done.

With William Nylander still unsigned the notion that the team will find it tough to keep their core together has been debated endlessly. In a rare public appearance, the Leafs president has made it clear what the message is to his young stars if they want to find success.

Sometimes being a part of a winning team requires sacrifice but the rewards will be worth it in the end. It is the message they’re trying to send to Nylander by not caving into their contract demands because they can’t make this about one player.

He made that perfectly clear when he spoke about the stalemate the team and Nylander are experiencing right now.

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This is why he was brought in by Tim Leiweke and MLSE to lead this team especially his experience with the Detroit Red Wings and how they prioritized winning over financial success.

When you look at the teams that have been contenders like Pittsburgh, Los Angeles, Tampa Bay, and San Jose, their stars didn’t go for the big contracts right away.

On the flip side have been quick to point out that back when the Red Wings were Stanley Cup contenders there wasn’t a salary cap and they made a decent living. Also, the salary cap continues to increase so it makes it easier for players to ask for more if they prove that they’re worth it.

Whether you agree with what Shanahan says or not, at least he understands the position his young stars are in and is being upfront with his desire to keep this group together as long as he can.

It’s not like these players aren’t getting opportunities to make money through endorsements considering Auston Matthews is sponsored by Scotiabank, Mitch Marner with Intact Insurance and Red Bull and Nylander with Reebok most recently.

Winning a championship would give these players a way to make a good living well after their careers are over whether it’s public appearances or just a job in hockey. This is something Shanahan and Kyle Dubas will try to sell but at the end of the day, it’s up to the players to decide if that’s what they.

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What did you think about Shanahan’s comments on Nylander? Should players sacrifice their chance at a big payday in order to be in a better position to win a championship? Let us know in the comments below.