He just signed a deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs after a long drawn out contract dispute, but the Leafs need to make space and fast.
Mitch Marner, Andreas Johnsson, Kasperi Kapanen, and Jake Gardiner all need contracts. And the Toronto Maple Leafs only have $8.79 million in cap space to do it. Kyle Dubas is going to have to move someone off the books.
"Yes, Dubas told Nylander that he wouldn’t be traded when his contract impasse ended last November, but this is a business and Nylander doesn’t have any trade protection."
With 27 points in 54 games this season, Nylander won’t cost nearly as much as he did last season when he was negotiating his contract with the Leafs.
The Islanders would get a 60 point 23-year-old right-shot forward locked in for the next five seasons at $6.962 million. How does a top line of Lee-Barzal-Nylander sound like?
For the Leafs, they get a player back with potential and that could be signed to an incredibly low cap hit, and a right-handed offensive defenseman who’s ready to turn pro (subscription required). They also clear almost $5 million in cap space (I’m assuming Beau won’t cost more than a $2 million AAV).
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The New York Islanders might be “helping” the Leafs by giving them the cap space they need to keep Mitch Marner. But they’re also weakening the Leafs by prying one of the three players Kyle Dubas was guaranteeing wouldn’t leave.