The Final Hours of Willy Watch

Much like Kasperi Kapanen, I had a dream that William Nylander signed a contract and woke up disappointed that it was only a dream. I don’t know if Kappy had any numbers involved in his dream, but in mine William Nylander signed a 6×6.5M contract, which I wish that he would sign in real life so I don’t have to hear about William Nylander signing a contract for another five years.

As I write this William Nylander has about 15 hours left to sign a contract, or he’ll be sitting out the rest of the season. So how did we get to this point when everyone was so confident that he’d have a contract before training camp started, and what does it look like is going to happen?

It’s believed that the main obstacle in the Nylander signing is William’s dad Michael. While I understand believing that your dad knows more than you, especially when you’re 22 and your dad spent 15 years in the NHL, but sometimes you just have to tell your parents to fuck off and do what you want to do.

One of the main concerns is that since he can’t get a No Move/Trade Clause as an RFA he’ll get traded if his deal is too team friendly. In my opinion, that’s complete bullshit since there’s no reason why a team that should be in contention for the Stanley Cup would trade a player who has a team friendly contract. A team that should have a chance at winning the Cup every year in the foreseeable future is not going to trade a very talented player, who isn’t even in his prime yet, when he has a team friendly (or even a fair value) contract.

One of the most common comparisons for a William Nylander contract is the David Pastrnak contract, a 6 year and $40M contract with a $6,666,666M cap hit. However, the reason that we all talk about the Pastrnak contract so much (besides the fact that it’s a devil contract) is that it’s such a team friendly deal. People say that Nylander isn’t worth more than Pastrnak, and I agree, however, Pastrnak is worth more than $6.67M which doesn’t make his contract a good comparison.

So what’s Nylander going to sign for on Saturday? Because I do believe that he’s going to sign. I think that it’s going to end up being a five or six-year deal since there’s four more years until he’ll be an UFA and the Leafs will want to buy up some of those years, but Nylander won’t want to sign at the maximum eight years and lose four years of UFA. The good thing about Nylander taking his sweet time signing a contract is that the cap hit will be weighted heavily for the 2018-19 season, but will be decreased for the remaining years of the contract. I think he’ll end up signing for somewhere in the $7-7.5M range, and that will result in him having a very high cap hit this year, but for the rest of his contract the cap hit will be much lower, which works out in the Leafs’ favor since they have a lot of cap space this year.

Ultimately though, I believe that Matthews and Marner are far more valuable to the Leafs than Nylander is, and Dubas shouldn’t (and won’t) risk putting their contract negotiations at risk for Nylander, so if it comes to it, he’ll let Nylander sit the year out and see how much he likes the KHL.

Also if Auston or Mitch make me relive this bullshit I’ll fly to Toronto to smack Mitch or drive to Arizona to smack Auston because I’m sick and tired of talking about William’s contract and just want to talk about him and Auston setting each other up for disgusting goals.


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