Insider Claims Leafs are in the Market for a Superstar via Trade

Published September 15, 2023 at 4:15 PM

A William Nylander Trade


When questioned about the Toronto Maple Leafs' reluctance to trade William Nylander for a much-needed defenseman, Mark Masters, a close observer of the Leafs, provided some insights, indicating that the situation is more intricate than a straightforward one-for-one trade suggestion.

During his appearance on the Got Yer' Back podcast with co-host Jason Strudwick, Masters addressed the idea of a blockbuster deal, explaining,


"At least for this coming season, Nylander is the best contract they got." He then adds «He's under $7 million and 40 goals."

Watch the full "Got Yer' Back" podcast here:

Masters proposed that this could be why the Maple Leafs are allowing the Nylander situation to unfold naturally rather than rushing into a trade. Nylander offers solid value, and there's an expectation that he could deliver an exceptional performance in the upcoming season. Removing him from the lineup, regardless of the potential return, might be deemed a mistake.

He went on to mention the Leafs' philosophy, often referred to as the "Shana-Plan," which relies on a core group of four key players, including Nylander, to secure playoff contention consistently.

"The belief with the Shana-Plan and this Leafs philosophy has been, if you have those four guys then you're going to have a chance every season and you're in the playoffs, which they don't want to take for granted."

A Jack Eichel Type Trade


Regarding the future, Masters speculated that GM Brad Treliving might explore the possibility of a substantial trade opportunity arising during the season or in the offseason, akin to a "Jack Eichel-type trade." This reference alludes to the significant trade that saw Eichel move from the Sabres to the Golden Knights, resulting in a considerable haul of assets for Buffalo.

The analogy suggests that the Leafs may eventually make a necessary trade, potentially involving Nylander, but it might not be a one-for-one deal. Instead, they could be aiming to acquire multiple pieces to enhance their roster. The circumstances surrounding Nylander's situation, while different from Eichel's, involve contract negotiations and a desire for change, similar to Eichel's desire for a fresh start.

The Effect of All This


A key question is whether Nylander's relationship with the Leafs management and his role within the team will deteriorate if he continues to hold out but excels on the ice. If the Leafs don't see him in the same light as Matthews and Marner, it could lead to a challenging situation.

Ultimately, the value of Nylander in a trade will depend on his performance, and if he has another outstanding season, the Maple Leafs may hope to secure a substantial return. However, his pending unrestricted free agent (UFA) status could limit their leverage unless they pursue a sign-and-trade arrangement.

As Read On NHL Trade Talk - "Reporter Says Maple Leafs Looking for Jack Eichel Type-Trade"