After an exciting Global Series in Stockholm which became the William Nylander show, Frank Seravalli and Tyler Yaremchuk discuss the importance of Nylander to this Maple Leafs team and how Toronto needs to make every effort to keep Nylander part of the future.
Tyler Yaremchuk: William Nylander continued his red-hot pace to start the season as he has a point in every game so far for the Maple Leafs and what does the Swedish forward do over the weekend to cap things off? Slides home the overtime winner and gives his team the big two points. It was a statement weekend and a statement season for Nylander.
Frank Seravalli: So the actual King of Sweden, his name is Carl XVI Gustaf, should think about renaming that to ‘King William Nylander.’ It was been quite a run for Nylander in Sweden, to me what this weekend did with all eyes focused on him in his home country, he lives only three blocks away from where the Maple Leafs were actually staying and looks across the river at the Swedish Palace.
Frank Seravalli: What it did for me this weekend was crystallize that not only is Nylander the MVP for the Maple Leafs this season and the guy that’s driving the bus, but it also crystallized to me that he’s in the very top tier of what this league has to offer in terms of players. It highlights to me and probably everyone else the real need for Toronto to keep him. It’s one thing to head into the weekend with a ton of attention, fans lined up around the block in your hometown to see you, all eyes on you, and then coming out in the first game and erasing a 2-0 deficit with a three-point performance and player of the game nod. Then an unbelievable beautiful overtime winner to cap it all off, it really doesn’t get better than that.
Frank Seravalli: To have all that focus and pressure leading in and then deliver in the biggest moment, I know it’s the regular season but it says a lot about the player if you’ve been watching him over the years take the step to the echelon he has now and to have that clutch killer instinct and feel to him, that’s something the Maple Leafs desperately need.
Tyler Yaremchuk: I’m 100% on the do whatever you need to keep him, trade guys, painful buyouts, keep this guy. But humour me, if a 27-year-old Nylander goes to the open market, that could be the biggest bidding war we’ve ever seen in the salary cap era no?
Frank Seravalli: I mean in the salary cap era, maybe. It would be up there for sure. There certainly have been other high-profile, high-stakes bidding wars, but why would the Leafs let it get to that point? Step up and pay the price, whatever that might be and end the conversation and if it means making tough decisions like you said, then do it.