November 3, 2018 | 10:37am ET
KINGS, HURRICANES HOT FOR NYLANDER
William Nylander, right wing
The Toronto Maple Leafs have less than one month to either re-sign William Nylander or trade him if the player hopes to play in the NHL this season.
As contract talks between the Leafs and Nylander’s camp remain fairly stagnant, the Maple Leafs appear to be more engaged in trade talks than earlier in the season.
While roughly a dozen teams have inquired about Nylander’s services, the Los Angeles Kings and Carolina Hurricanes appear to have expressed the most interest, according to multiple sources. TFP first reported Los Angeles’ interest last week.
Speaking on the basis of anonymity, one league source told TFP on Friday the Kings appear willing to package defenceman Jake Muzzin and left wing Tanner Pearson in a deal, which may include additional pieces, for Nylander.
Muzzin, 29, has one-year left on his contract after this season and comes with a $4 million salary cap hit, while Pearson, 26, has two-years left on his deal after this season and has a $3.75 million cap hit.
According to a second league source, the Hurricanes may be the front-runners in this race, should the Maple Leafs decide to trade Nylander, and any deal with Carolina is almost certain to include defenceman Brett Pesce.
Pesce, 23, is in the first-year of a six-year, $24.15 million contract.
The Leafs and Hurricanes had discussed a deal involving Justin Faulk in the off-season, but Toronto’s expressed significant interest in Pesce.
Two separate sources have confirmed to TFP the Hurricanes have spoken with Nylander’s agent, Lewis Gross, while one source believes the two sides have discussed a contract. An offer-sheet, though, is not believed to be in the cards.
Gross did not respond when contacted by TFP for comment.
It’s believed the Hurricanes and Leafs are discussing a larger trade involving multiple pieces on both sides. The Hurricanes have sent personnel to watch Toronto’s last few games, while Dubas made headlines for taking in a Hurricanes game in Raleigh last week.
Kings GM Rob Blake has been scouring the League in an attempt to tinker with his roster. In addition to his interest in Nylander, Blake is believed to be exploring multiple options and Pearson has been at the centre of trade talks.
Nylander, a restricted free agent, is believed to be looking for a seven-year contract worth no less than $7 million, per season.
Trade talks are expected to continue, while the Leafs and Nylander’s camp remain in communication.
TFP Editor-in-Chief David Pagnotta contributed to this report.