William Nylander ends contract standoff with Maple Leafs, reaches new six-year deal
The RFA saga ends with a six-year deal worth over $41 million for Nylander
At long last, the William Nylander standoff is over, and not a moment too soon.
Just minutes before Saturday's 5 p.m. (ET) restricted free agency deadline, Nylander agreed to a contract with the Toronto Maple Leafs worth six years and $6.9 million annually.
The deal brings a prorated cap hit of $10.2 million this season, but will drop down to $6.9 million in years two through six. The contract also comes with a $24.5 million signing bonus, per Sportsnet's Nick Kypreos.
The agreement ends a stalemate that goes all the way back to the beginning of the summer and has carried over into the first few months of this season. Nylander, 22, has missed Toronto's first 26 games as he sat out while seeking a new deal. The new contract was officially filed to the NHL at 4:55 PM (ET) on Saturday. Had Nylander and the Leafs not agreed to a deal before the 5 PM deadline, the young winger would have been forced to sit out the remainder of this season.
With his return to the lineup, Toronto will get yet another dangerous offensive weapon up front. Nylander has tallied 61 points in each of the last two seasons, posting two straight 20-plus goal campaigns.
It was initially reported that Nylander's camp was seeking a long-term, big-money deal (possibly around eight years worth around $8 million annually) and while Toronto also preferred a long-term deal, the team wasn't comfortable going as high on the yearly payout.
The Leafs had to approach the negotiations rather carefully considering, while they have plenty of cap space, they will need to give out new contracts to a number of RFAs -- including Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner -- after this season as well. They just signed John Tavares to a massive seven-year, $77 million deal this offseason and will likely have a cap crunch to manage in the coming years.
Nylander's new deal brings Toronto's current cap space to just over $7.6 million.
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