Maple Leafs winger William Nylander is one of just three remaining restricted free agents and it doesn’t appear as if a deal is particularly close. In an appearance on TSN 1050 (audio link), TSN’s Darren Dreger suggested that there haven’t been many talks as of late between Nylander’s camp and the team. The belief remains that Toronto is hoping to lock the 22-year-old on a long-term pact somewhere in the $6MM range but Nylander is seeking more than $7MM per year to be locked up long-term. Understandably, the Leafs are going to try to hold a hard line knowing that contracts for top youngsters Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner are on the horizon for next season.
More from the Atlantic:
- While the Bruins appear to have a pair of roster spots up front, one of them has already been taken. Head coach Bruce Cassidy told reporters, including Kevin Paul Dupont of the Boston Globe, that youngster is expected to break camp with the team. That shouldn’t come as too much of a surprise as the 22-year-old put up nine points in a dozen games after joining the team late last season although he was a frequent scratch in the postseason. That leaves the rest of the roster hopefuls, including veteran tryout wingers Lee Stempniak and Daniel Winnik, vying for one last position.
- Winger Martin Frk returned to practice for the first time since straining an oblique muscle at the beginning of training camp, notes MLive’s Ansar Khan. He’s coming off of a career year after putting up 25 points in 68 games for the Red Wings last season and was eventually rewarded with a $1.05MM contract for the upcoming season but his spot on the roster isn’t exactly guaranteed with several youngsters pushing for spots. Meanwhile, defensemen Jonathan Ericsson and Danny DeKeyser will miss at least the next two games with what head coach Jeff Blashill is calling “minor tweaks”.
- Lightning center Tyler Johnson will miss the remainder of the preseason due to an upper-body injury, head coach Jon Cooper told reporters, including Fox Sports’ Caley Chelios (Twitter links). Fortunately for him, Tampa Bay opens their 2018-19 campaign relatively late (October 6th) so he could still be available for when the puck drops on the season.