William Nylander contract signing watch

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"No - we have only played 26 games, so I don't think there is any reason to think about that", Kapanen said. That's what we think.

The months-long stand-off between Nylander's camp and Maple Leafs management came to a dramatic conclusion, as TSN's Darren Dreger reported the signing at 4:57 p.m. EST - three minutes before the restricted free agent signing deadline. "I can imagine what he's going through".

Nylander appeared in all 82 regular-season games for the Maple Leafs last season and had 61 points on 20 goals and 41 assists. Toronto general manager Kyle Dubas was believed to have countered with an offer of about $6 million annually, but the number now reportedly lies somewhere in the $6.9-million range.

The Leafs didn't need Nylander to win for the 19th time in 27 games - and to win 10 of their first 13 road games for the first time in team history - but they did need Frederik Andersen.

The Leafs finished with 23 shots on goal, their fewest in a road game this season. "It's exciting. I can't wait to have him back".

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It's a massive deal for a player coming off his entry-level contract and one that puts pressure on the 2014 eighth-overall pick because he's now making more money than numerous top producers in the entire National Hockey League.

Auston Matthews - the 2016 first overall pick - remains unsigned long-term by the Maple Leafs as does 2015 fourth overall pick Mitch Marner. What he is able to do for his line is incredible, what he does with the puck down low, the way he can hold on to it, the way he goes to the net, he is a guy who really drives his line and does a very good job for us.

The relationship is a natural one, as lower budget teams are concerned with the payments they make to players, whereas higher budget teams like the Leafs are principally concerned with a player's cap hit. On July 1, 2019 Nylander will receive an $8.3M signing bonus.

"We have our honour to defend, it's not just about the trophy", Rielly said, deadpan. "I have to continue to play, get my legs back under me and my wind back, hope to continue to play better".

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