Nylander vs. Shanahan: A Battle of “Me” First

11 October, 2018
Posted in NHL
11 October, 2018

Nylander vs. Shanahan: A Battle of “Me” First

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It’s approaching the mid-mark of October and still, no deal for William Nylander.

On October 5, Ryan Lambert of Yahoo Sports, blogged that William Nylander shouldn’t let Brendan Shanahan talk him into taking less money. There’s a lot of people who feel the same way Lambert does. There are also those who feel Nylander has absolutely no leverage in his negotiations with the Toronto Maple Leafs and that if he thinks he’s worth what he’s asking for — reportedly somewhere in the neighborhood of $8-$8.5. million per season —, he’s barking up the wrong tree.

The Nylander Delay

Indeed, Nylander has refused to budge much from his asking points of (a) a long-term deal with (b) a salary average of over $8 million. Nylander, caught skating alone in Sweden, “negotiated” with reporters from afar in his October 4th comments: “In the end, I have to take care of myself and do what I and my agent thinks is right. Especially if it’s about several years to come. I need to think long term. It’s my own future it’s about.”

Such comments: “I have to take care of myself” and “It’s my future I care about” suggest, as I wrote in an earlier post, “the huffing and puffing” are representative of salary negotiations these days.

Many believe the advice to wait it out is coming from William’s dad, Michael Nylander, who was well known during his time in the NHL as someone well-versed in contracts and financial matters when it came to his own and other player’s deals. That conversation, between father and son, is probably ending with something similar to ‘whatever you do kid, make sure you get yours.’ And, why not? A professional hockey player may only get one or two chances to sign a lucrative contract and not everyone likes leaving millions of dollars on the table.

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The Shanahan Perspective

For his part, Brendan Shanahan, the Maple Leafs’ president, has also started negotiating through the press. In his lofty position as both team leader and successful hockey legend, he is quite willing to share moralistic stories of the team-oriented Detroit Red Wings who won all those Stanley Cup Championships because they weren’t thinking about how much they were paid but only how good their team could be. Obviously, Shanahan noted to all, good team players were more than willing to leave a couple million dollars on the table because – well – it’s all about winning championships.

Don’t expect anything to boil over into the offseason with Brendan Shanahan’s management team. (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)

Don’t expect anything to boil over into the offseason with Brendan Shanahan’s management team. (Tom Szczerbowski-USA TODAY Sports)


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