Another first-round exit for the Toronto Maple Leafs. I really thought this was their year. Going into game seven against the Lightning I thought they might be able to lift that first-round curse. Of course, they didn't, losing 2-1 to the Lightning, and now fans are calling for a shake-up. A shake-up that the New York Islanders should, if it materializes, take full advantage of.
After a sixth first-round* exit in six years, Maple Leaf fans are clamoring for changes. Not marginal changes. But big changes. From the executives down to the players. While I don't think there's going to be a change up top there could very well be a big change on the roster.
*Technically it's five first-round exits in six years. In 19-20, they lost in the qualifying round against Columbus, which is worse.
New York Islanders would gladly trade for William Nylander
Leaf fans are mad and so it's understandable that just about anyone is on the trade block in their minds. But one name that keeps popping up now and in years prior; is William Nylander. The winger has been constantly placed on the trade block by fans since signing that six-year deal in 2018.
And that desire to trade the winger has not dissipated with this recent first-round exit.
Over the last two years, Nylander has 122 points in 132 regular-season games. In 14 playoff games, he's got 15 points. The winger puts up a ton of points. He's excellent on the rush, he's hard to knock off the puck, and he's a really intelligent forward.
The 26-year-old (he just turned 26 on May 1) seems like he could be a really solid fit on the right side of Mathew Barzal's wing as both a play driver and a finisher. Nylander scored 34 goals this season for the Leafs. That would have him comfortably in second place for goals on the Islanders roster this year.
Obviously, this is easier said than done, but if Nylander is on the block Lou Lamoriello has to make a call to Kyle Dubas to see what it would take to pry Nylander out of there. He's the right type of player to fill that desperate need for more offense on the Islanders top line.