Maple Leafs Rumors: "Sizeable Gap" Between Team & Star Player In Contract Talks

Saturday, July 1st is somewhat of a notable day for the Toronto Maple Leafs. It's the day that Auston Matthews and William Nylander can be signed to contract extensions, and also the day that a full no-move clause kicks in for Matthews, and a 
modified no-trade clause of 10 teams for Nylander takes effect. 

According to NHL Insider Pierre LeBrun, on the Nylander front, the two sides seem to be far apart in contract talks. In fact, LeBrun calls it a "sizeable gap."

The problem, in my understanding of the situation as of Thursday, is that Nylander’s ask so far in contract talks is certainly above what the Leafs can live with in an extension. There appears to be a sizeable gap. But my sense is the Leafs will just keep hammering away at it hoping to find a path to an extension.

LeBrun goes on to add that the Leafs have found that Nylander's trade value around the league isn't quite what they thought it would be due to the lack of cap room for so many teams, so simply trading him if a deal can't be struck is easier said than done.  

It's worth noting that the last time around with Nylander, in 2018, contract talks became so frustrating and contentious that he was a hold-out until December 1st of that season, missing the first six weeks of play. 

But that $6.9M cap hit now looks like a bargain, with the 27-year-old coming off his first 40-goal season, and back-to-back 80-point-plus campaigns. After his 'Core 4' compatriots, Matthews and Mitch Marner came in at $11.6 AAV and $10.9M AAV, respectively, with their last contracts, Nylander will surely be looking to make up for what he feels is lost ground this time around. 

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