Where are you, William? The reason that stopped him from the WC
At 5 pm on Wednesday, a white bus roared towards the player hotel in Tampere.
Timothy Liljegren stepped out with his Toronto bag hanging on his right shoulder. Five days after the Maple Leafs crashed out of the Stanley Cup playoffs, the 24-year-old from Kristianstad is now a WC player. He is here – in Tampere – wearing Tre Kronor’s blue and yellow kit.
It’s not William Nylander.
The teammate from Toronto who is the most prominent Tre Kronor player of his generation.
Tre Kronor does not want to answer how it is that William is not here yet. They avoid questions about players who are not part of the squad, and that’s fine – then it’s free to speculate as to why one of the longest streaks in World Cup history hasn’t come to an end.
The reports claim that it is a green light from Toronto, William himself says that he wants to play in the WC and according to the association, the insurance issue is not a concern, despite William being in the exact same position Elias Pettersson is in with a monster deal potentially inked this summer.
So, when everything seems fine, why wasn’t William Nylander on the same flight as Timothy Liljegren?
They have had their exit talks with the Toronto management, the medical examination should be completed and Tre Kronor still keeps a place open for Toronto’s biggest Swedish star.
Maybe that’s where the shoe pinches: “Nyllet’s” status in Toronto and the NHL.
William Nylander is a better hockey player than Timothy Liljegren, he shines brighter in the starry sky and he is part of Toronto’s now famous “core four”.
Toronto’s biggest poster names with the fattest deals: Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, John Tavares and William Nylander.
Those who unlock almost half of Toronto’s salary budget. Those who may now be split up.
North American NHL media is dominated by speculation about how Toronto will handle the disappointment after the exit against Florida and whether a review of the entire organization is needed before next season.
General manager Kyle Dubas has an expiring contract and has said himself that he is not sure if he will continue to manage the Maple Leafs, head coach Sheldon Keefe is possibly hanging loose and the three rumors about the “core four” are constantly recurring in the columns over there.
The consensus also seems to be that it is William Nylander or Mitch Marner who are the most reasonable to try this summer. John Tavares is 32 years old, he is past his peak and he earns a monstrous eleven million dollars per season. He doesn’t deserve that and the rest of the NHL teams know it. He also has a complete no movement clause. Therefore, he is difficult to move.
Auston Matthews, on the other hand, is a megastar and perhaps the league’s top scorer for the past five seasons, while also being a really good defensive player. It’s a player you keep, no matter what, and he himself has opened to sign even before the fall training camp starts.
That leaves us with Marner, the local Toronto kid who was nominated for the Selke Trophy and became the team’s scoring king, and William Nylander, who finished the best season of his career and who for much of the winter was Toronto’s leading forward.
The main difference between the players is their contracts.
Marner earns $10.9 million per season through 2025, while Nylander’s $6.9 million deal through 2024 is considered one of the NHL’s most affordable.
This summer, Marner’s no trade clause also kicks in, the one that gives him the right to choose whether he wants to be traded or not. Therefore, Toronto will have to act smart if they want to move Marner.
At the same time, before July 1, Nylander must have decided on ten clubs against which his future trejd protection will apply. However, Toronto can trade him away to one of the NHL’s 21 other clubs after that – without Nylander’s camp having any say.
Kyle Dubas himself has opened up about changing the playing squad this summer (if he remains as Toronto’s GM) and Mitch Marner and William Nylander are the two players on the team who would give the most in exchange. In addition, Dubas signed long-term contracts with both Marner and Nylander, so next season eight of Marner’s eleven million dollars will be paid out while Nylander earns six million for the winter. It is attractive to other NHL owners, who may see an opportunity to save money and bring in a player who can directly lead the offense.
Last year’s blockbuster three-way between Florida and Calgary, which sent Jonathan Huberdeau and Mackenzie Weeger to Alberta and Matthew Tkachuk the other way, is also fresh in the mind. Florida felt they needed to shake up the group dynamic despite having just won the league regular season and going to Tampa in the second round.
A year later, they are in the conference finals after taking down Toronto and Matthew Tkachuk has been their best player.
In 2016, Nashville made a similar move after three straight playoff disappointments. Shea Weber was traded to Montreal for the services of PK Subban. The following season, the Predators played in their first ever Stanley Cup Final.
There are two successful examples of when superstars were forced to leave their clubs, but there are no guarantees that Toronto will follow in the footsteps of Florida or Nashville just to trade away one of the “core four” players.
Should they, however, make Mitch Marner or William Nylander available for a trade this summer, the worst possible timing with a hockey World Cup in May is for Nylander’s part. An injury in Tampere and his trade value could drop dramatically. In the worst case, it could have consequences for his continued career.
Toronto’s main concern is possibly Tre Kronor’s main concern in this matter. If it could be that Nylander hasn’t yet appeared in Finland because the Maple Leafs haven’t decided how to tackle the silly season.
If they want to trade William Nylander or not.
Those, along with any personal reasons involving Nylander that he needs to address before the World Cup, are the only two plausible explanations for why Nylander wasn’t on the same flight as Timothy Liljegren.
Otherwise he should have been here already.
#William #reason #stopped