Wayne Gretzky says he wouldnt hold out if he were William Nylander

Wayne Gretzky says he wouldn\t hold out if he were William Nylander
Hurricanes and Nylander Rumors Persist
The ongoing saga involving Toronto Maple Leafs center William Nylander has been widely discussed. He is at an impasse with the Leafs regarding his contract and there are no signs that the two sides will reach an agreement any time soon. Nylander is home in Sweden while his team is doing fairly well without him.

eval(ez_write_tag([[728,90],thehockeywriters_com-box-3,ezslot_3]));Chris Johnson wrote for Sportsnet on Nov. 11, In fact, theres scuttlebutt Camp Nylander recently turned down an offer matching the David Pastrnak deal — $40-million over six years — although that rumor was denied over the weekend. If true, one has to wonder just how much Nylander thinks he should be paid.

As a Restricted Free Agent (RFA) Nylander can continue to sit out and hope for the Maple Leafs to offer him the contract he feels he deserves. His 61 points in both of the past two seasons are very good for a 22-year-old. Drafted eighth overall in the 2014 NHL Entry Draft, Nylander has proven to be a worthy prospect. However, he believes he is worth more than the Leafs have supposedly been willing to pay.

The stand Nylander is taking must come to an end by Dec. 1 or he will need to look for tickets to watch NHL games. After that date, he will be ineligible to play this season.eval(ez_write_tag([[300,250],thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-3,ezslot_1]));

The Leafs can continue to try to woo Nylander to sign. However, the odds of that happening have decreased steadily. The question is, who will blink first? Will the Leafs go ahead and offer him a gigantic, over-inflated deal just to get this story off the news or will Nylander get cold feet when he realizes hell be doing sitting out the rest of the season?

Leafs management and William Nylanders camp are continuing to have dialogue/discussions including this past weekend. So that door hasnt been shut. Whether or not it leads to a breakthrough before Dec 1 is hard to say though.

eval(ez_write_tag([[580,400],thehockeywriters_com-medrectangle-4,ezslot_2]));Jonas Siegel of The Athletic believes another option is to stand pat, let Nylander sit out the whole season while the Leafs retain their rights to him. On Nov. 12, Siegel wrote, …holding onto Nylander, not trading him, is still the best way forward for the Leafs. Why? The overarching reason is pretty simple: Nylander is already a game-changing talent at 22 and probably just scratching the surface of what hes going to become.

Siegel continued: If youre ranking the reasons, or better yet, the players, that have the Leafs set up to contend for the Stanley Cup over the next half-decade Nylander ranks right near the top — somewhere behind Auston Matthews obviously, but right there in the same neighborhood as Mitch Marner and Morgan Rielly. And so, while a trade might help the Leafs win this season, what about after that? (from If they cant sign William Nylander, the Leafs should let him sit out the season – not trade him, The AthleticNHL – 11/12/18).

Boiling it down is pretty simple. Will the Leafs throw up their hands and say, Just trade him or will they take the long view and try to sign him, even to a bridge deal? If they do trade him, who might be a partner that makes sense?

There is word tonight TOR has asked teams to indicate what they would offer — and will not trade — for William Nylander. Still think their first choice is to sign him, but we have entered the next stage, with 20 days until the deadline.

Part of the speculation includes the Carolina Hurricanes who are included in the mix of possibilities for Nylander should things not work out with the Maple Leafs.  In a post at Fansided on Nov. 9, Simon Vacca quoted Sportsnets Elliotte Friedman as saying, Carolina has made it very clear that they are all in.

Whether this speculation is part of hockeys ever-spinning rumor mill or has real substance remains to be seen. Nylander could meet the Hurricanes need for a scorer while any number of defensemen from the Hurricanes could fill the hole on the Maple Leafs blue line. A Nylander to the Canes for whoever scenario would be mutually beneficial.

One name thats been tossed about frequently is Hurricanes defenseman, Justin Faulk. He was rumored to be on the trading block all offseason. His play has been better, and the fans calling for him to be gone have settled down, but in the end, Faulk for Nylander with a pick thrown in on either side might be the deal that makes the most sense.

Faulk is making $6 million per year, with a $4.8 million cap hit per year. He becomes an unrestricted free agent at the end of next season. In theory, the Leafs could save some money by trading for Faulk instead of paying Nylander whatever gargantuan amount he wants. They would also have a full season to decide if they want to keep him and negotiate with him in 2020 or try to trade him beforehand.

In Faulk, the Leafs would get a veteran defenseman who has shown he can play at an elite level but has not done so recently. Holger Stolzenberg wrote at Yardbarker.com on Nov. 10, here have been consistent rumors coming out of both Carolina and Minnesota as Carolina has made it clear they would like a franchise-changing forward and the team has quite a bit of defensive depth, including Justin Faulk as well as younger, cheaper options such as Brett Pesce to include in a package.

Faulk is a three-time NHL All-Star and Pesce is an important part of the Hurricanes defense when paired with Jaccob Slavin. Faulk and a pick would be a good trade for Nylander, but not Faulk and Pesce. That would hurt the Canes.

Getting Nylander might be like adding Sebastian Aho, and that would benefit the Hurricanes but giving up too much could make a deal less favorable. Will it happen? The Maple Leafs have a lot to think about. Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are just two of their players that will be RFAs next season. Some big checks are going to need to be written by Leafs management on top of Nylanders if they can sign him.

Of course, the Hurricanes have their own check-writing to do in the near future, namely to Aho who will be an RFA next season. Ahos agent is surely watching the Nylander situation and if he continues to play as he has, Aho wont be cheap.

With Dec. 1 fast approaching we will know soon enough how this complicated situation with Nylander will play out. Hurricanes fans would love another young forward who has proven he can make a difference on a team. Maybe Nylander could actually put the puck in the net.

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Former Maple Leafs executive Mark Hunter knows Kyle Dubas’ biggest issue is keeping together the team’s core of young players, namely William Nylander, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

“Oooh, big, big (challenge),” said Hunter, in Toronto for the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference at the Westin Harbour Castle, but choosing his words carefully when speaking about his former employer. “It’s easy to look back, but last spring was the time.”

Signing young stars before they hit free agency — even restricted free agency — is typical of the way teams try to operate, but it didn’t happen that way for the Leafs. Whatever has transpired between the Leafs and the agents of the big three, nothing has come of it. And their prices, if anything, are probably rising.

Matthews and Marner are in the final year of their entry-level contracts and will be in line for big raises. Nylander, meanwhile, remains unsigned and faces a Dec. 1 deadline to be on an NHL roster to be eligible to play.

“That’s a tough situation now. He’s a hell of a player,” Hunter said of Nylander. “People say trade him. Yeah, but who are you going to replace him with? He’s a top-end player. Everybody talks about one (bad) playoff round. One playoff round is not going to define a top-end star player like him.”

Hunter is back running the London Knights —the Ontario Hockey League team he co-owns — having left his post as assistant general manager of the Maple Leafs when Dubas was chosen over him as successor to former GM Lou Lamoriello.

And while he was careful with his words while talking about the state of the Maple Leafs, he was gushing with praise for two of his favourite subjects: Marner and Lamoriello.

During the conference — run by former Leafs GM Brian Burke – Burke asked Hunter about drafting Marner fourth overall in 2015. Burke said he thought the Leafs were wrong to take the scrawny Marner over defenceman Noah Hanifin, “but it’s worked out pretty well.”

“I used some inside information,” said Hunter, who had drafted Marner to the Knights a couple of years previous. “I knew his makeup and I knew his desire. Scouts have to make sure what you’re getting. You have to improve, you have to keep getting better, you have to want to win.

“We won a Memorial Cup. He’ll keep pushing to win a Stanley Cup, because that’s what he’s all about. Scouts have to find that inner desire.”

Marner led the Leafs in scoring last season and is second to Morgan Rielly this season, thriving especially when Matthews has been injured.

“He just keeps pushing the envelope about trying to get better,” Hunter said of Marner. “He wants to be ‘The Guy.’ That’s a credit to him. He wants to be in a leadership role. More and more, in time, they’ll give him that. He’ll blossom more if they give him more of a leadership role.”

The knock on Marner is his shot. He’s crafty, smooth, sees the ice well and is a speedy skater but his shot is not particularly hard nor does it surprise goalies. And without a better shot, teams will be able to impede his passes.

“His shot has gotten better,” said Hunter. “He still needs to work on it. In time, he’ll improve that more, when to shoot, when to pass.”

Hunter disclosed some information about the secretive Lamoriello, saying the “old school” GM who now runs the New York Islanders is more into analytics than he’s given credit for.

“He kept notes, past things players have done, scoring, shots,” said Hunter. “It shocked me how (many) notes he kept to back up that player. He followed Corsi, puck possession. He was all into it.

“I shouldn’t be telling you any of this. You know how secretive he is. But I see some people criticize him, but no, he’s all over statistics. The stuff is on his table on Monday morning of every statistic from the whole world. And he goes through it.”

Hunter, who also has an “old school” reputation due to his passion for scouting, was also ahead of the curve in his early days running the Knights, matching video with data.

“I felt good when I saw Lou do his business. It confirmed what you’re doing yourself,” Hunter said.

“I think sometimes in the business, you don’t have to tell everybody how smart you are,” Hunter said in the conference, adding afterwards, “I just think sometimes the old school is a lot more quiet. The younger school talks a lot more about what they’re going to do, and how they’re doing things. Lou didn’t talk about himself, but credit where credit is due. That’s why he’s still in the business. He’s right on top of things. He’s in analytics. He knows what’s going on.”

“We all know how hard it is to get in, in the right position. You always look at things. It’s got to be the right position for myself,” said Hunter. “If you enjoy hockey, you want to be involved in hockey. I still go back there (to London) and enjoy it from top to bottom.”

Former Maple Leafs executive Mark Hunter knows Kyle Dubas’ biggest issue is keeping together the team’s core of young players, namely William Nylander, Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner.

“Oooh, big, big (challenge),” said Hunter, in Toronto for the PrimeTime Sports Management Conference at the Westin Harbour Castle, but choosing his words carefully when speaking about his former employer. “It’s easy to look back, but last spring was the time.”

Signing young stars before they hit free agency — even restricted free agency — is typical of the way teams try to operate, but it didn’t happen that way for the Leafs. Whatever has transpired between the Leafs and the agents of the big three, nothing has come of it. And their prices, if anything, are probably rising.

Matthews and Marner are in the final year of their entry-level contracts and will be in line for big raises. Nylander, meanwhile, remains unsigned and faces a Dec. 1 deadline to be on an NHL roster to be eligible to play.

“That’s a tough situation now. He’s a hell of a player,” Hunter said of Nylander. “People say trade him. Yeah, but who are you going to replace him with? He’s a top-end player. Everybody talks about one (bad) playoff round. One playoff round is not going to define a top-end star player like him.”

Hunter is back running the London Knights —the Ontario Hockey League team he co-owns — having left his post as assistant general manager of the Maple Leafs when Dubas was chosen over him as successor to former GM Lou Lamoriello.

And while he was careful with his words while talking about the state of the Maple Leafs, he was gushing with praise for two of his favourite subjects: Marner and Lamoriello.

During the conference — run by former Leafs GM Brian Burke – Burke asked Hunter about drafting Marner fourth overall in 2015. Burke said he thought the Leafs were wrong to take the scrawny Marner over defenceman Noah Hanifin, “but it’s worked out pretty well.”

“I used some inside information,” said Hunter, who had drafted Marner to the Knights a couple of years previous. “I knew his makeup and I knew his desire. Scouts have to make sure what you’re getting. You have to improve, you have to keep getting better, you have to want to win.

“We won a Memorial Cup. He’ll keep pushing to win a Stanley Cup, because that’s what he’s all about. Scouts have to find that inner desire.”

Marner led the Leafs in scoring last season and is second to Morgan Rielly this season, thriving especially when Matthews has been injured.

“He just keeps pushing the envelope about trying to get better,” Hunter said of Marner. “He wants to be ‘The Guy.’ That’s a credit to him. He wants to be in a leadership role. More and more, in time, they’ll give him that. He’ll blossom more if they give him more of a leadership role.”

The knock on Marner is his shot. He’s crafty, smooth, sees the ice well and is a speedy skater but his shot is not particularly hard nor does it surprise goalies. And without a better shot, teams will be able to impede his passes.

“His shot has gotten better,” said Hunter. “He still needs to work on it. In time, he’ll improve that more, when to shoot, when to pass.”

Hunter disclosed some information about the secretive Lamoriello, saying the “old school” GM who now runs the New York Islanders is more into analytics than he’s given credit for.

“He kept notes, past things players have done, scoring, shots,” said Hunter. “It shocked me how (many) notes he kept to back up that player. He followed Corsi, puck possession. He was all into it.

“I shouldn’t be telling you any of this. You know how secretive he is. But I see some people criticize him, but no, he’s all over statistics. The stuff is on his table on Monday morning of every statistic from the whole world. And he goes through it.”

Hunter, who also has an “old school” reputation due to his passion for scouting, was also ahead of the curve in his early days running the Knights, matching video with data.

“I felt good when I saw Lou do his business. It confirmed what you’re doing yourself,” Hunter said.

“I think sometimes in the business, you don’t have to tell everybody how smart you are,” Hunter said in the conference, adding afterwards, “I just think sometimes the old school is a lot more quiet. The younger school talks a lot more about what they’re going to do, and how they’re doing things. Lou didn’t talk about himself, but credit where credit is due. That’s why he’s still in the business. He’s right on top of things. He’s in analytics. He knows what’s going on.”

“We all know how hard it is to get in, in the right position. You always look at things. It’s got to be the right position for myself,” said Hunter. “If you enjoy hockey, you want to be involved in hockey. I still go back there (to London) and enjoy it from top to bottom.”