William Nylander Opens Up About Contact Talks With Maple Leafs

Now that Auston Matthews' extension is done, the Toronto Maple Leafs can turn their attention to William Nylander. His current deal also expires after the coming season and there is considerable consternation about what's going on with his contract talks. 

Trade rumours have been floated, as have reports about the two sides being oceans apart in contract talks. But as for Willie himself? He's just chill.  

NHL Insiders Elliotte Friedman and Jeff Marek got a chance to sit down with Nylander recently to talk all things contract and all things Toronto Maple Leafs. The Friedge says that Nylander isn't stressing about his situation. "'Lots of time' to sort out his contract," was how the 27-year-old put it to Friedman. "I still have one more year left, so I don't really understand what the big rush is, either, to get a deal done."

The Leafs' star winger was recently linked to a California team in one rumour, but the report adds that Nylander insisted that "there’s nowhere else he wants to be than Toronto.

"I know how much I love it there. And it would take a lot for me to want to leave Toronto. Like, that's a place I want to be at. And that's where my mind's at for the coming year and for the future. I'm not thinking about being anywhere else," said Nylander.

Friedman called Nylander "the most relaxed man in hockey" after seeing his stress-free attitude during their interview. The 40-goal scorer "doesn’t see why everyone is spending so much time discussing it."

Hmm. Could it be because the last time he went into contract negotiations with the Leafs in 2018 it reached a boiling point to where he actually sat out the first two months of the season? That, of course, can't happen this year, as he's still under contract for 2023-24 at what now has turned out to be a bargain for the Leafs, at $6.96 million.

Nylander was eligible for an extension as of July 1st, and if a new deal is not signed, he would become an unrestricted free agent next summer. 

:photo: Dan Hamilton-USA TODAY Sports