William Nylander, who plays for the Toronto Maple Leafs, has been off the ice for a little while as he slowly negotiated his contract with the team. It even went as far as to be the cause for him missing his training camp.
According to TSN, Mike Babcock, Maple Leafs head coach, thinks that the catch-up game will be what Nylander has to play.
“Matty’s been here working every day and the guys who have been here working every day are ahead of the guys who haven’t been here working every day,” says Babcock. “That’s just part of the business. We all understand that. It’s hard to manufacture the intensity we had today when you’re not here. It just doesn’t work like that.”
What does this mean exactly? Well, it means he’s going to have to do a little extra work to make sure he knows what everything means, while signals may not have changed, tactics certainly have. So, in short, he’s going to need to review the new way things are being done and perhaps take a little time to get used to how things work since he’s been off for such a long time.
Other than that, there’s also the issue of him missing a training camp. While we already know that he needs to learn the new things taught to the other players, he’ll need to apologize to them as well. He must do this because they kind of rely on him as a team player. If he doesn’t show up to something, it means that the team has to manage without him. This is especially true if the coach wanted to toss a unique situation at the players to just see how they react. Since he wasn’t there, the team had to anticipate how he would react, rather than see him in action.
Patrick Marleau, who might end up playing on Nylander’s opposite wing quite often believes that chemistry between those working together is important. This makes sense because it shows us that two players could trust each other and their skills instead of having to micromanage each other.
However, despite all the talk of chemistry and people playing catch up to enhance their ability on the ice, one thing seems to really be grinding a lot of people’s gears. It’s the fact that the Leafs’ season opener has come and gone and no contract for Nylander has been signed. It’s a sad sight, but one that will certainly grind the gears of some fans and even players who prefer having him on the ice against the opposing team.