Observers Say Leafs GM Took Verbal Swipe At Nylander

The Toronto Maple Leafs got a huge piece of business done this past week, with the signing of superstar Auston Matthews to a four-year extension. But while discussing the contract negotiations he had with the franchise player, Leafs GM Brad Treliving may have delivered a thinly veiled potshot at the still-unextended William Nylander. 

The Leafs' winger is heading into the final year of his contract this coming season, and conducted an interview this past week with hockey insider Elliotte Friedman in which he seemed pretty... disinterested in any urgency to sign a new deal anytime soon. 

"I don't really understand what the big rush is," was what Willie said to sum up his feelings on negotiating an extension.

As noted by Nick Barden of The Hockey News, one big takeaway line from Treliving, in discussing Matthews' new contract, was the following: 

"This got done because Auston decided he wanted to get it done. I mean, that's the reality," Treliving said."I want to applaud (Matthews' agent) Judd's (Moldaver) work in this. We spent a lot of time going at it since I've gotten here. 

"But it gets done because Auston says, 'I want to get it done, I want it to be a non-issue, I want the focus to be where it needs to be and that's on winning and putting all of our energies on the ice,' and that's why it's done."

A not-so-subtle potshot at the frustratingly slow negotiations with Nylander? That he isn't so interested in 'getting it done'? 

It just could be that Willie's way of 'putting all of his energies on the ice' is by not thinking about contracts until after next season when he can become a free agent... But that would leave Leafs Nation, and likely the rest of the organization, in a tough spot. It's likely that a trade would come before it ever reached that point.  

It's something to keep an eye on as training camp approaches in one month, and Treliving endeavours to get something done. The reports earlier in the summer is that the two sides were still very far apart.  

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