Maple Leafs Must Make Tough Choices If They Want To Re-Sign Nylander

Throughout this season, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have to think about signing William Nylander since a new deal likely won't get done until the offseason. This past offseason it wasn't looking great for the team to be able to re-sign Nylander because of the asking price, but he is proving that he would be worth every penny after a franchise record nine-game point streak to start the season with six goals and 13 points.

There's no denying that the Maple Leafs will have to do everything in their power to keep Nylander at this rate since he is only 27 years old and an elite player. Despite playing soft, he is the most reliable during the regular season and playoffs for the Maple Leafs out of the core four, and he's been doing it while making far less money than the other three.

It is about time Nylander gets paid, and the Maple Leafs have to understand that. To do this, they will have to lose some players from their current roster. Three of the offseason additions that mostly looked good at the time, have failed to perform up to standards so far. Those players being Tyler Bertuzzi, Max Domi, and John Klingberg. At a combined cap hit of over $12.5 million this season, the three offensive players have combined for two goals and 10 assists in nine games. That's barely over a point-per-game together.

If Nylander is to be signed and get the raise he deserves, these three are going to have to go. Next season could be a layover year where cheap depth and young talent fills the secondary scoring roles instead of getting players like Bertuzzi, Domi, and Klingberg again. This way the Maple Leafs get through next season with the core four still intact, then deal with the contracts of John Tavares and Mitch Marner. Tavares will be taking much less money if he's going to stick around, and Marner will likely get a slight raise. This will allow Nylander's contract to fit in and the team to then add proper depth once there is room and the cap rises.

Photo credit: © John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports