Happy William Nylander day. If you're tired this story, well, at least it's almost over.
Honestly, I have no idea what’s going to happen at this point. I think he’ll end up signing with the Toronto Maple Leafs for around $6.7-7 million annually for five-to-seven years, but we’ll see. One of three things has to happen today though. Either he signs with Toronto, he gets traded and signs with another team, or he becomes ineligible to play for the remainder of 2018-19.
The fact that it got to this point at all is bizarre. It’s not unusual to see talks go up to the deadline like this in other scenarios, but there’s a reason why this particular deadline hasn’t come up before. Even missing training camp is a serious issue for players and Nylander has now missed over a quarter of the season. At this point there’s no telling how big an issue rust will be and what kind of impact he can have even once he starts playing. That’s bad for him and it’s bad for the Maple Leafs.
On top of that, Nylander hasn’t been paid while he’s waiting. He must be banking on the idea that by holding out he will stand to make more in the long run and maybe that’s right, but it’s unusual. Or at least, it has been unusual until now. Hopefully Nylander isn’t setting a new normal for major RFA negotiations, but with Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, and Patrik Laine headlining next year’s group of RFAs coming off entry-level contracts, I guess we’ll see.
While we wait, let’s look at Friday’s action…
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FLORIDA 3 BUFFALO 2 (OT)
Aleksander Barkov scored the game-winning goal. It was his ninth goal and 22nd point in 24 games this season.
Sam Reinhart scored a goal and registered an assist. The Sabres forward has six goals and 21 points in 27 games.
Jonathan Huberdeau assisted on two of Florida’s three goals. He’s up to five goals and 24 points in 23 games.
James Reimer turned aside 22 of 24 Sabres shots. He’s 5-6-2 with a 3.25 GAA and .895 save percentage in 16 contests.
At the other end of the ice, Linus Ullmark stopped 40 of 43 shots. He has a 5-0-2 record, 2.57 GAA, and .927 save percentage in eight games.
WASHINGTON 6 NEW JERSEY 3
Nicklas Backstrom led the charge with a hat trick and an assist. That gives him nine goals and 32 points in 25 games.
Alex Ovechkin found the back of the net and registered two assists. The Capitals forward has 19 goals and 31 points in 25 games.
Braden Holtby saved 33 of 36 Devils shots. He’s won his last five games, though this ended his streak of three straight starts where he allowed two or fewer goals.
Keith Kinkaid allowed four goals on 29 shots. This is the third straight start where he’s surrendered four goals and New Jersey has lost each of those games.
Nico Hischier scored a goal and registered an assist. The Devils forward has five goals and 15 points in 20 games.
ANAHEIM 2 CAROLINA 1 (OT)
Ryan Getzlaf scored the overtime winner. It was his seventh goal and 19th point in 22 games.
Pontus Aberg accounted for Anaheim’s other goal. That gives him seven goals and 11 points in 22 contests.
Andrei Svechnikov found the back of the net for Carolina. He has six goals and 12 points in 25 games.
Curtis McElhinney stopped 27 of 29 Ducks shots. He has a 7-2-1 record, 2.10 GAA, and .930 save percentage in 10 starts.
Meanwhile, John Gibson saved 33 of 34 shots. He’s 10-8-4 with a 2.47 GAA and .929 save percentage in 22 starts.
ST. LOUIS 3 COLORADO 2 (OT)
Colton Parayko netted the overtime winner in this one. He’s up to four goals and seven points in 24 games.
Vladimir Tarasenko also scored a goal for St. Louis. He has nine goals and 20 points in 24 games.
Jake Allen stopped 27 of 29 Avalanche shots. He has a 7-7-3 record, 3.24 GAA, and .896 save percentage in 19 games.
Mikko Rantanen extended his point streak to seven games with a goal. The Avalanche forward has 11 goals and 43 points in 26 games.
Semyon Varlamov surrendered three goals on 37 shots. He has a 9-5-3 record, 2.36 GAA, and .927 save percentage in 17 starts.
CALGARY 4 LOS ANGELES 1
Mike Smith only had to face 14 shots in this game and he stopped 13 of them. Los Angeles didn’t manage more than five shots in a single period.
Adrian Kempe scored the Kings’ only goal. He has three goals and seven points in 26 contests.
Mikael Backlund scored two goals and registered an assist. That gives him five goals and 16 points in 26 games.
Matthew Tkachuk assisted on two of Calgary’s four goals. He’s up to 12 goals and 29 points in 26 contests.
Calvin Petersen stopped 33 of 35 Flames shots. He’s surrendered just two or fewer goals in each of his last three starts.