Leafs’ Nylander willing to negotiate contract extension during season

Leafs' Nylander willing to negotiate contract extension during season

Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander isn’t shutting the door on in-season contract negotiations.

The 27-year-old gave his agent permission to continue contract talks with the Maple Leafs throughout the 2023-24 campaign, he told The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel.

Nylander is coming off a career-high 40 goals and 87 points last season. He’s set to become an unrestricted free agent for the first time in his career next summer.

He indicated he doesn’t want updates on negotiations until the two sides are nearing an agreement.

The last time Nylander was on an expiring contract, he opted not to negotiate during the season. The result was a drawn-out process that carried all the way until the restricted free-agent signing deadline of Dec. 1, when he ultimately signed a six-year, $45-million deal.

“(I was) just focusing on playing,” Nylander said. “I don’t remember what I was thinking at that point.”

Toronto general manager Brad Treliving failed to sign Johnny Gaudreau to an extension while he was at the helm of the Calgary Flames in 2022. Gaudreau and Nylander have the same agent.

The Maple Leafs signed Auston Matthews to a four-year contract extension with a record $13.25-million cap hit in August.

Nylander’s entering his ninth season with Toronto after being drafted by the team eighth overall in 2014. He’s accumulated 177 goals and 430 points in 521 contests with the Maple Leafs.

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