Rangers involved in trade buzz for Leafs RFA holdout Nylander?

Nylander (TSN)

Since Toronto’s young star William Nylander decided to holdout there’s been plenty of speculation about trading him. That noise turned into confirmed reporting by Elliotte Friedman last night.

Toronto Under Pressure

As per the CBA, the Leafs have only until December 1st to sign him before he becomes ineligible for the remainder of the season. Earlier reports indicated that both sides are only interested in a long term deal with the issue being salary. Nylander’s camp is looking for $6+ million a season, and the Leafs were thinking much less. Here’s the issue for the Leafs, they have 8 RFAs next year and Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Kasperi Kapanen are among them.

Who Could Be In On Nylander?

There is no official list of teams out there but Insiders have mentioned, Carolina, Arizona, Boston, L.A., Nashville, Edmonton, Anaheim and the New York Rangers. Reporter, Chris Johnston indicated recently that Toronto is looking for defense and Carolina has a number of defensemen that could facilitate a trade. One Canes blue liner that comes to mind is Justin Faulk.

When it comes to the Rangers, the buzz I hear is that William Nylander has been on Jeff Gorton’s watch list for some time. This dates back to last year when the Rangers made Ryan McDonagh available and the Leafs were heavily involved in trying to acquire him.

If the Rangers want to land this 22 year old star coming off back to back 61 point season, it’s going to take a package that includes Brady Skjei and more. This is a move the Rangers have to make and the emergence of Neal Pionk makes this possible.

Nylander Expedites the Rebuild

Jeff Gorton has done a great job of restocking the cupboard with prospects. On defense they have Libor Hajek, Ryan Lindgren, Sean Day, Yegor Rykov, and K’Andre Miller. All of these players could wind up on the Rangers blue line in the next few years. The issue for the Rangers is scoring up front and right now, outside of Vitali Kravtsov they don’t have much.

That is why acquiring Nylander at the cost of Brady Skjei and others not named Andersson, Chytil, Howden, Buchnevich, and Pionk is a must. Nylander can play wing or center and is top line talent. If Kravtsov is as good as many are making him to be, then Gorton could be looking at a formidable scoring line for the next 5-7 years.

The Oilers Interested in Zuccarello

Zuccarello (Howard Simmons NYDN)

Edmonton’s GM was recently at the Garden and the belief is he’s after Mats Zuccarello. The 31 year old forward will become a UFA this summer and the strong belief is that he will be traded at the deadline this season. Peter Chiarelli is looking to get the jump on his competition by acquiring Zuccarello in order to add his veteran presence and skills to an already potent offense.

The next few weeks in Rangerstown is about to get very interesting.