Maple Leafs Prepared to Trade a Member of the Core Four

Wade Messier
June 10, 2023  (4:35 PM)

It's shaping up to be a very busy summer for Brad Treliving and the Maple Leafs. Between their current expiring contracts, trade options, and next year's pending free agents, Brad Treliving has a lot on his plate.

Treliving Will Learn From Past Mistakes

Last offseason was a rough go for Treliving, who lost not one, but two of his team's star players. Treliving is committed to not making the same mistake, and if it means trading one of the Core Four, so be it.
The last thing a GM wants is for a player to continually say they want to stay in a city long term, yet draw out the contract talks process, leading them straight to free agency. Treliving will not lose one of the Leafs' four best forwards for nothing, and if it means he has to trade whoever won't sign an extension right away, he's willing to do just that.
The move could be somewhat premature, but most people would rather gain full value for one of their best assets, rather than lose them for nothing because they held out hope on nothing but the player's word.

Who's on the Chopping Block?

Both Auston Matthews and William Nylander will be unrestricted free agents following the conclusion of next season, and it appears Treliving will be taking a more aggressive approach with these two stars.
An article from The Athletic has a blurb that perfectly sums up the situation.
Treliving wants to re-sign Nylander, an unrestricted free agent in 2024, as well. But of interest here is some agent history. Nylander's rep, Lewis Gross, also represents Johnny Gaudreau, whose exit from Calgary left tire tracks on Treliving when he was GM there. So suffice it to say: Treliving isn't going to allow a song and dance to play out all season with Nylander, who now have at No. 10 on the trade board. It's "extension or else"
While we have no doubt that Treliving wants to bring back Nylander, his concerns over Nylander holding the Leafs hostage in negotiations, as well as the Leafs' need to save money for Auston Matthews' next payday may end up putting the nail in the coffin for Nylander.
It looks more and more like we could see William Nylander's time with the Maple Leafs coming to an end, so buckle up!