As the Toronto Maple Leafs find themselves atop the Atlantic Division, William Nylander is still skating in Sweden.
No one truly knows how far off the Maple Leafs and Nylander’s agent are in terms of a contract, but we do know that Nylander is losing out on money for each passing day he is without an NHL contract.
It appears as if the Leafs are going to sign Nylander eventually, but one person believes Toronto is trying to ship Nylander to another club.
According to Renaud Lavoie of TVA Sports, the Leafs are changing their tune and looking at possible destinations to trade Nylander. Lavoie was recently on the Jeff Blair Show to discuss the on-going contact issues involving Nylander.
Lavoie has spoken with many scouts and GMs around the league, and there is the impression that they are taking calls on the Swedish forward.
Renaud Lavoie on The Jeff Blair Show says in talking with scouts & GMs yesterday, they feel the #Leafs could be on the verge of switching their plan with Nylander and trading him since his salary demands are too high. Says #Preds would be an ideal partner. https://t.co/4yUphz41BH
— NHL Watcher (@NHL_Watcher) October 11, 2018
Simply, the Maple Leafs don’t want to meet the payroll requirements Nylander’s camp is asking for.
It’s all speculation of course, but Lavoie also mentioned that the club may have a perfect trading partner in the Western Conference: the Nashville Predators.
Nashville Predator left wing Viktor Arvidsson (33), of Sweden, celebrates with Mattias Ekholm (14), of Sweden, and PK Subban (76) after Arvidsson scored a goal against the Colorado Avalanche during the second period in Game 2 of an NHL hockey first-round playoff series Saturday, April 14, 2018, in Nashville, Tenn. (AP Photo / Mark Humphrey)
If this trade were to go through, expect the Leafs to snag a defenseman in return. Mattias Ekholm is a name being tossed around as a potential target for Toronto.
The 28-year-old defenseman is also from Sweden and is in his third season of a 6 year, $22,5000,00 contract. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of the 2021-2022 season.
Would this be a smart move for the Maple Leafs? They are scoring at will currently and have one of the best offenses in the league. They average 5 goals a game but have allowed 20 goals in 5 games.
Subban for Nylander would be worth a parade #Preds
— Evil Mattias Ekholm (@EvilEkholm) October 10, 2018
Nylander for Subban . Let's make it happen . #leafs #nylander
— JeCo88 (@jeffc_88) October 11, 2018
A trade that can be a win/win for both clubs… William Nylander for Matthias Ekholm. Leafs will have a credible D-man to play alongside Rielly. And the Preds will add an offensive weapon to play with Turris. They will still have Josi, Ellis and Subban. Still pretty good!!!
— Mathieu Belchamber (@MathBelchamber) October 12, 2018
Nylander for subban straight up. Let's do this
— David Poiles nap blanket (@Predwin14) October 9, 2018
The only other team in the NHL with 20 goals against are the Ottawa Senators, who are expected to be near the bottom of the division and league when the season concludes.
Toronto could easily fit a defenseman into their lineup. A top defensive pairing of Morgan Rielly and Ekholm would be pretty decent.
Toronto needs to address the pros and cons of having Nylander or having Ekholm on their roster.