Nylander Watch is coming to a close, and he’s not offering any hints to a decision since he’s skating with the U20 team in Sweden as we speak. Since the outcome of this has produced mass speculation, let’s take a look at Toronto’s 2019-2020 cap situation, to see where they’d be at should they agree to a $7M/year contract.
The Toronto Maple Leafs
2019-2020 Season Cap Space, assuming the cap rises to $82M, will have roughly $31.7M in available space. Let’s assume Nylander and Toronto meet in the middle and sign for $7M. That leaves $24.7M, with Matthews and Marner- the marquee names- needing to be re-signed. I’m predicting Matthews gets $11M and, if he keeps this pace up, Marner should be looking at around $9M. This leave $4.7M to re-sign RFA’s Kapanen, Johnsson, and Sparks and also fill out the rest of the roster.
Honestly, I can’t blame Nylander for holding out. He has proven to be a top young player, posting back to back 60 point seasons. Signing on with Toronto would create a phenomenal situation, having Matthews or Tavares as linemates. His point totals would assuredly rise.
This 70+ point player deserves to get paid. If Toronto decides to move on from negotiations, he will absolutely get his asking price somewhere.
But where, you ask?
Vancouver strikes me as a possible trade partner. They currently have $7.3M in cap space, and young defensemen and some young forwards they can send in return- without gutting their core. He may not see the immediate boost to his statistical output that Toronto would bring, however, Vancouver has a promising young core that could grow together and become a dominant force in the NHL.