TSN: Darren Dreger on TSN’s Overdrive on Toronto Maple Leafs forwards William Nylander and Auston Matthews.
Brian Hayes: “Obviously we know (Auston) Matthews is eligible for an extension this upcoming summer. The same thing applies with Willy Nylander. Scores again (earlier this week). He’s leading the team in points and goals. Which is incredible.
And I’m curious Dregs, can you see a scenario where both guys get extended this summer or are those deals just to big? Is it too much to figure out how monster deals like that are going to fit into your cap system over the course of two months, two and a half months?
Dreger: “Really difficult Brian. Really difficult for the obvious financial reasons here right.
When you look at that William Nylander contract right now, I mean, bargain of the decade. For sure. The way he’s playing now, on many nights he’s been there best player. As you’ve established, most productive.
He deserves to be rewarded for that, and he will, but does that come at the expense of someone else?
The Matthews extension to me is going to be really interesting to see how that unfolds. Because I don’t think it’s going to be much of a negotiation. I really don’t. I think probably the Matthews camp goes to the Maple Leafs and says, ‘Alright, here’s our starting point,’ wherever that it, what is it? $13.5 (million) if you want to start there. And what’s the term? Is it another four- or five-year term, so Auston can trigger it again four or five years down the path? Those are the things you need to find out.
But I think that, and you know the Maple Leafs are prioritizing Auston Matthews as they should. So then you look at how does that impact William Nylander? I wish I had a firm insider answer to this, but I don’t because we don’t know what the cap is going to do. It’s not going to elevate beyond $3 million. But you’re looking the year ahead, so there’s going to be all kinds of things that come into play but as much as Auston Matthews deserves a bump, what does Willy deserve?
And it’s not going to be a small bump. William Nylander has played his way into that category of high rent. You’re probably getting up in the (Mitch) Marner territory, I would think.”
Jamie McLennan: “You think he’s a double-digit player? Like $10 million north?
Dreger: “I don’t want to say yes Noodles because it’s a tough one right? It’s a tough one. The way he’s played, if you had a bigger body of work, back-to-back seasons of this, yes, I would probably say he’s right there.
But now I’m thinking of other players around the league. What do we think (David) Pastrnak’s going to get when Boston finally pulls themselves off the couch and gets that deal done? He’s going to be double digits. Probably.
McLennan: “I think Pastrnak’s a better players than Nylander.”
Hayes: “I agree Noodles. Like Dregs, you just said it. Last year Willy had 80 points. He had 34 goals and 80 points. This year if he ends up with 45 and 95. Maybe.”
McLennan: “Right, but Matthew Tkachuk got $9 (million). Johnny Gaudreau got, that’s what I’m saying, I don’t think he’s a double-digit player.
Hayes: “I don’t think he is in those markets. In Florida he’s not. The problem is, and I don’t want to bring this back up, but the way the Leafs have handle this, the way players have handled being Maple Leafs, if they’re playing with the same playbook they were four years ago, then it doesn’t matter what Tkachuk signed for. Or Pastrnak.”
Dreger: “We’re being specific here to Toronto. Like Noodles, you looking at across the league and you’re saying, right now you don’t see Nylander as a $10 million player on any team, not just the Toronto Maple Leafs.
But, again, Nylander signed his contract. He went to the turmoil to get that contract signed. He had to earn, to even be a part of the conversation we’re having right now. And right now he earning is value in that conversation.
Marner didn’t take less. Matthews didn’t take less. Auston Matthews isn’t take less moving forward. So from the business perspective, if you’re Willy, are you going, ‘okay. did the other guys leave any on the table? Let me know how that worked out.’
So it’s going to be interesting to see how all that plays.
McLennan: “I’m not trying to be negative on him, I’m just looking at the marketplace and saying. He’s got one year away from unrestricted free agency. So you’re buying up some of that but ultimately you got to figure out. I’m looking at Tkachuk who had a 100 points last year. What did he have, 40-something goals too?
Hayes: “40 and a 100, whatever it was.”
McLennan: “That’s, That’s. Gaudreau was unrestricted too. And he had a 115 points. The market a year later. Hayes, you pointed out, marketplace, city you play in, all that type of stuff. Comparables within your organization and how well you played. These do factor in. It’s just, it be interesting to see how that unfolds as far as it potential marketplace for him,