Hyman drumming up much respect in Maple Leafs dressing room

Fantasy hockey waiver wire William Nylander returns add Eeli Tolvanen and Josh Morrissey

Fantasy hockey waiver wire William Nylander returns add Eeli Tolvanen and Josh Morrissey

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. That's what we think.

There are three possibilities for the Leafs and Nylander, a slick forward capable of lining up at centre or on the wing, as the situation approaches its tipping point - the two sides agree on a new deal (either short- or long-term), Toronto trades his rights to another team or the nuclear option of the player sitting out the entire year. Nylander has tallied 61 points in each of the last two seasons, posting two straight 20-plus goal campaigns.

Nylander remained in Europe during talks between his representatives and general manager. "It's exciting. I can't wait to have him back".

Also complicating things were the new contracts Leafs forwards and pending RFAs Matthews and Marner will require before next season, as well as the fact that the contract impasse with Nylander bled into the 2018-19 season, adding to the financial creativity in this deal.

Nylander has been a consistent scorer at every level.

Still, there's no contract and Nylander remains out of the picture as the Leafs battle for first place in the Atlantic Division.

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.

And what will Nylander add to an already-deep team that now has an improved shot at winning the Stanley Cup next June? He joins a 19-8-0 team that ranks third in goals per game and second overall in points. Nylander has added two goals and six assists in 13 playoff outings.

"We're all really excited about it. Hopefully, he gets us on a run here". He's a big part of this team.

"We want him back, for sure", defenceman Morgan Rielly said.

"I thought we started OK and then I don't know if we thought it was going to be easy or whatever", Toronto coach Mike Babcock said.

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