William Nylander’s Asking Price Revealed

The Toronto Maple Leafs were busy during the first few days of free agency, bringing in several new notable players. Now the attention focuses once again on extension talks surrounding both Auston Matthews and William Nylander. 

Nobody expects the Nylander talks, in particular, to be smooth sailing. We heard last week that there was a "sizeable gap" between the two sides. Today, we've got more info on the details. Leafs Insider Chris Johnson has revealed Willie's asking price for a new deal. 

While Toronto is looking at an AAV in the "8s", Nylander is staring at a number in the "10s". As in $10M+ per season. 

The 27-year-old notched his first 40-goal season in the recently concluded campaign, and is going into the last year of a $6.9M AAV long-term deal. That, certainly, turned out to be a bargain, but now he's looking to make up for lost dollars. 

And one look at the earnings of players who finished with a better season, offensively, than Nylander this past year, show that he might be on to something.

Would the Leafs be willing to let Nylander play out this season without a new deal in place?

"I think it has to be considered a possibility," Johnson said on TSN's First Up on Tuesday, "because you don't want to paint yourself into a corner where you say 'we either sign him or trade him'... There's going to have to be some concessions on both sides of the table. 

"Usually contracts need a deadline of some sort... Either it's July 1, 2024 when he becomes a free agent, or perhaps it's the trade deadline... I don't really know where this one's going yet, but... the Leafs do have to consider bringing him back even on an expiring deal."

As Johnson says, it's going to be a game of "sizing each other up" as we go through the summer. 

Photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports