William Nylander and the Leafs have agreed on a six-year contract extension, one that carries an annual average value of $10.2-million United States this season and an AAV of $6.9-million in years two through six.
"I've said it many times: I'm just hopeful Willie is going to be in our lineup starting whenever he gets over here and gets signed today and get it all worked out", Babcock said.
Though Matthews has three goals and an assist in the past two games, there's some room for improvement.
The Maple Leafs already were an offensive threat on the ice.
When coach Mike Babcock told them Nylander had signed a six-year deal, they were thrilled.
Last season, Nylander had 20 goals in 82 games.
Ohio State coach Urban Meyer retires, led Florida to two national championships
Meyer , 54, is 82-9 in his seven seasons with the Buckeyes, winning three Big Ten titles, and one national championship in 2014. His teams won five off the six bowl games in which they competed with three BCS bowl game victories.
Regardless, Nylander's $6.96M cap hit will make it hard to sign the collection of Toronto Maple Leafs players that are due for extensions at the end of this year, including Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner, Kasperi Kapanen, and Jake Gardiner. "I have to continue to play, get my legs back under me and my wind back, hope to continue to play better". "It gets hit off you and goes in, and I did everything I can to try to stop it going in". He has also had four playoff points in each of those two seasons. "It's exciting. I can't wait to have him back".
When asked if he ever thought the deal was not going to happen, Dubas said, "It's tough to say". "I think that's a big key to our team and something we have going for us that not a lot of teams do is having a lot of depth". Not for the team, not for William. This ends nearly five months of negotiations between the two signs.
Auston Matthews - the 2016 first overall pick - remains unsigned long-term by the Maple Leafs as does 2015 fourth overall pick Mitch Marner.
Maybe Nylander's first game will come two nights after that, when the Leafs play host to the Detroit Red Wings.
Matthews could be looking for something in the neighbourhood of the $12.5 million per year Edmonton superstar Connor McDavid takes home, while Marner's ballpark might land somewhere in the $10-million range of Buffalo captain Jack Eichel.