Nylander finished third on the team in points and fourth in assists. "He's a big part of this team", Matthews said.
Toronto's players found out the news before the game when Babcock emerged from his office to tell them Nylander had signed. "Hopefully, he gets us on a run here". Nylander, who is expected to return to the Leafs lineup nearly right away, is receiving a pro-rated first-year salary of $6.77-million plus a $2-million signing bonus.
Essentially, Nylander gets the money he was seeking, and the Leafs get the cap hit in the out years they were seeking. "Sometimes it's frustrating, but I am happy to be here".
The Maple Leafs regained the lead at 14:38 of the second on Hyman's deflection of a shot by Marner. "He's a great player, so we're excited about it". "He is doing what he feels is necessary and we want him back".
Nylander does not have a no-trade clause in his new contract until the final year, which includes a list of 10 teams he can put on a no-trade list.
"Kyle (Dubas) and (assistant GM Brandon Pridham) and the guys did a real good job in getting that done", Babcock said after a 5-3 win over the Wild.
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With his return to the lineup, Toronto will get yet another risky offensive weapon up front.
His teammates have been, and still are, suffering though the non-stop questions and speculation surrounding the highly-publicized negotiation between the Maple Leafs and the 22-year-old's camp as the RFA signing deadline looms.
"Having him back, it's just going to add more fire to this team and make us deeper", Marner said.
The Maple Leafs selected Nylander with the No. 8 overall pick in 2014. Gaudreau went from scoring 30 goals and 78 points in 79 games in 2015-16 to just 18 goals and 61 points in 72 games in the season following his brief holdout. He has also had four playoff points in each of those two seasons.
But Kasperi Kapanen, one of Nylander's good friends, occupied the right side on that unit for most of the early part of the schedule until Matthews suffered a left shoulder injury on October 27 that ruled him out of action for 14 games.