Leafs GM Dubas meeting with Nylander and reps
Lance Hornby of the Toronto Sun: A source is saying that Toronto Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas has flown to Switzerland and is having a meeting with restricted free agent William Nylander and his agents.
Nylander has been skating in Sweden on his own.
The source has stressed that they did not know if it was to get him signed, or that the meeting was to reassure Nylander that despite their early season success, they still want to have him long-term.
Hornby wonders if Nylander’s reps (U.S. agent is Lewis Gross, his dad Michael also represents him) are getting a little antsy as there may be a growing perception that they Leafs can win without him or they should trade him as he’s asking for too much.
TSN: Darren Dreger confirmed that Dubas is in Europe and is meeting with Nylander and his camp today.
Does Kapanen play change the Leafs stance? Hurricanes watching?
TSN: Darren Dreger on Insider Trading notes that Kasperi Kapanen will also be a restricted free agent at the end of the season. If he puts up 50-60 points this season, he could be looking at upwards of $5 million a season. They are obviously not at that stage yet though. Somebody might have to go.
“If it’s not William Nylander assuming that he comes in and he signs a bridge deal or otherwise, if it’s not Kasperi Kapanen because they find a way to keep him, somebody has to go from a cap perspective. Good problems to have because the Maple Leafs are a good team with both those players in house.”
Pierre LeBrun continuing after Dreger noted some people think Nylander has lost some leverage with the Maple Leafs goal scoring and start to the season.
“On the other hand I think it’s my understanding that it probably strengthens their belief that they’re trade bait because in fact they can win and score goals without him and yet they still have trouble defending. So that’s been a belief since the get go and a fear from the Nylander camp, that they can’t get a no-trade clause of course so will they be dealt if they sign. So because of that it’s become more imperative than ever for Nylander that if any when he signs a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs, that it’s a contract he can live with, not just in the Leafs puzzle but also if he ends up with that contract on another team.”
LeBrun notes that teams are watching this situation. Two GMs told yesterday that it’s their understanding that Dubas doesn’t want to trade Nylander. The closer December 1st approaches, they may change their stance. Keep any on the Carolina Hurricanes.
“Carolina to me is a team you have to keep an eye on because of the teams that have interest in Nylander; the Hurricanes are as deep on defence as any team. They have five top-four defenceman and a guy that the Leafs would have interest in if it ever goes down this road would be Brett Pesce. He has a six-year deal at just over four million a year, a cap friendly deal and is a young top-four defenceman.”