There has been a lot of talk, with a little mention of the Minnesota Wild, around the NHL about a player who hasn’t even played a game yet this season. William Nylander and the Toronto Maple Leafs have not yet been able to come to terms on a new deal.
There have been rumblings that maybe the best move for the Maple Leafs at this point is to trade the young winger for a defenseman. We mentioned that the Minnesota Wild should give the Leafs a call and inquire about Nylander, kick the tires and see if anything may pique the Leafs’ interest in dealing the young winger to Minnesota.
Let’s get one thing straight, depending on what the Wild would have to give up, I would love to get Nylander on the Minnesota Wild roster.
Here’s the problem I see, the Toronto Maple Leafs would be crazy to trade William Nylander. In addition, if they trade Nylander for a top two or four defenseman, then how does that help their cap situation?
While they have the cap space to sign Nylander right now, they may be strapped for cash this summer when Matthews and Marner need to get paid.
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When I look at the Leafs roster, other than lots of dollar signs, I see one thing – a lot of players that probably won’t get traded.
Unlike the Minnesota Wild, they don’t find themselves tied to big-money contracts on ageing players, Marleau being the exception.
The defense isn’t much different, other than Ron Hainsey who will probably not get re-signed.
Not to mention the other players that have contracts expiring and will need new deals to fill in the bottom six.
So where are the Leafs going to find all that dough to sign Matthews and Marner?
If you didn’t notice yet, I left off a top six forward when listing players that are un-tradeable; Nazem Kadri.
Before you dismiss this as a terrible idea for the Leafs, really take a look at their roster and tell me where they are going to shed money.
Again, to re-state, I would much rather have Nylander, but I just don’t see the Leafs walking away from a twenty-two year old superstar in the making.
I also realize that Kadri has an amazing deal for his production. Again though, I just don’t know how the Leafs are going to fit all their superstars under the salary cap.
According to CapFriendly.com, Kadri has three more years (after this season) at $4.5 million. I am no cap wizard, so maybe I am wrong and the Leafs find a way, if that’s the case then they are the cap wizards.
The Minnesota Wild would be adding another center, but if this occurs during the summer, Kadri could replace Eric Staal – and for only $1 million more a year. Kadri has scored 30+ goals the last two seasons, and is still under the age of 30.
Considering that the Leafs might need to shed salary, prospects and draft picks could be involved – maybe based around the Jeff Skinner to Buffalo trade (probably more).
So instead of poaching Nylander, who I believe will be signed by the Leafs, I would inquire about Nazem Kadri this summer and try to exploit the Leafs’ tight salary cap situation to the advantage of the Minnesota Wild.