It might've come down to the final minutes of Saturday's deadline, but Toronto Maple Leafs forward William Nylander finally has a deal in place. Although the 22-year-old has yet to play this season due to a months-long contract stalemate with the team, he has no hard feelings on how the process played out.
"Everything worked out good for both sides, so there is nothing to be bitter about," Nylander said, according to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun. "You want to be playing from the beginning of the season, but things happen for a reason and I am just so happy that it's over."
Although there was plenty of speculation as to how the stalemate would end, including a potential trade or bridge deal, Nylander agreed to a six-year deal worth roughly $6.96 million per season with the Leafs.
"That was something I wanted," he said. "I didn't want a bridge deal. I want to stay in Toronto with all the players that we have, and we have a great team.
"I didn't want to risk it by signing a bridge deal and not being able to stay, if that was going to happen."
Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said Saturday that the team hopes to have the winger back sometime over the next week. Nylander, meanwhile, is eager to rejoin his teammates.
"I can't wait to be back," he said. "It has been a crazy ride. I wish it would have been done earlier, but I'm very happy to be back with the best fans in the league. I'm very excited."