Tuesday, November 20, 2018

Weighing the pros and cons of various William Nylander trade destinations

The​ Maple Leafs’ standoff​ with​ winger​ William​ Nylander​ continues​ this week,​ with less than​ two weeks to​ go​ until the Dec.​​ 1 deadline to strike a deal. And with the two sides still reportedly far apart on terms and dollars, talk has increasingly turned to the possibility of a trade.

If the Leafs decided to swing a deal, there’d be no shortage of potential landing spots for the talented winger. Our Pierre LeBrun recently looked at nine of the most likely destinations. But that list was only a starting point, and this sort of scenario often results in a mystery team or two lurking in the background. There’s no doubt that plenty of teams around the league are wondering if they’d be the right fit.

So today, let’s look around the league and see if we can help. This is a brainstorming session, so nothing’s off the table. We’ll look at a variety of teams, covering the spectrum from likely destinations for Nylander to teams which seem like much longer shots. And we’ll help everyone involved weigh the pros and cons of pulling off a Nylander blockbuster.

Buffalo Sabres

Pro: Joining the organization would mean that Nylander is reunited with his brother Alexander, which would be great because it would give his dad someone else to go bother for a while.

Con: Dubas once absented-mindedly mentioned that the winger could probably develop into a decent quarterback for the Sabres’ second power-play unit, and as soon as he said “decent quarterback” Buffalo bylaws kicked in and barred Nylander from the city limits.

Anaheim Ducks

Pro: Nylander hasn’t played a single minute of competitive hockey all season long, so he’d immediately fit right in with all of their defensemen.

Con: As with any trade they make this year, departing Ducks players would be slowed down at the airport while trying to drag equipment bags that are unusually heavy and vaguely sound like John Gibson whispering “Take me with you.”

Edmonton Oilers

Pro: As a dynamic offensive winger with a proven track record of producing next to an elite center, Nylander would fill a longstanding team need for a guy they could trade for a mediocre defenseman.

Con: NHL trades are complicated and can take weeks or even months to put together, which probably doesn’t leave enough time for whoever the Oilers’ GM is going to be by the weekend.

Carolina Hurricanes

Pro: Wouldn’t have to send their best player to Toronto in the deal since the entire city is already overflowing with Ahos, according to everyone else in Canada if I’m hearing them correctly.

Con: Nylander would be joining the team with only four months left in the season which isn’t really enough time to get up to speed on detailed positioning and responsibilities outlined in the playbook, which is what Justin Williams insists on calling the postgame choreography.

Vancouver Canucks

Pro: Checks every box on the Canucks’ list of criteria for acquiring a star player, although in fairness for the last 20 years those boxes have just been “Not Mark Messier” and “No seriously, make damn sure he’s not Mark Messier.”

Con: The roster already includes Elias Petterson, so they don’t actually need any other NHL players.

>> Read the full post at The Athletic


  1. The Nylander needs to be the best player so I think the Rangers would be a good landing spot

  2. Interesting post. Really loved it :)

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