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Toronto Maple Leafs GM Brad Treliving spoke to the media at the Ford Performance Centre on Monday, providing an update at the first quarter mark of the season, and the status on defenseman John Klingberg and contract talks with winger William Nylander.
Treliving said that Klingberg was injured in the 3-1 loss to the Florida Panthers in Sunrise (the Leafs opposition at Scotiabank Arena on Tuesday) and the problem continued to get worse into November. Klingberg is seeing a specialist in New York City and the Leafs are in a holding pattern until a medical determination is made.
I anticipate we will have clarity this week. He is meeting with some doctors. We went through some meetings last week to see if this is a situation where there is a surgical intervention or not.” Treliving said. “We wanted John to come in, help us move pucks, generate some offense, and help us get out of our own end. Injuries happen. That is an unfortunate part of the game. We will see where he is at by the end of the week and hopefully go from there.”
As for Nylander, the Leafs GM and agent Lewis Gross have held ongoing discussions about the pending unrestricted free agent but was careful not to provide any significant details on the negotiations.
“I am not going to get into those discussions other than to say nothing has changed on our end. Our desire and hope at the end of the day is to get Willie signed. There is a process that you go through.” Treliving said. “(Nylander) has had a tremendous start to the year. I don’t think this is just a hot start. I think he is a really good player. I stated from day one that our objective was to get Auston signed. We got him signed. Our objective is to get Willy signed. We are working on it.”
Treliving continues to be one of the most active GMs in the league, staying in constant contact with his colleagues and checking in on possible scenarios. Reportedly he spoke with Patrick Kane’s representatives before the Cup-winning winger signed with Detroit on Tuesday. There has been ongoing speculation that the Leafs are looking to upgrade their blueline, especially with the potential loss of Klingberg for the season and Timothy Liljegren on LTIR with a lower-body injury.
We did some things over the course of the summer. Some have gone well. Some are works in progress. Some haven’t gone as well. You take a look at where you are at, and you are always trying to find ways to help the team.” Treliving said. “Part of this is learning the group we have. Certainly, you are always looking at ways to make yourself better. At what cost, and those types of questions… It is an everyday part of the job for sure.”
The Leafs are hoping to bounce back from weekend losses to Chicago and Pittsburgh against the Panthers. Joseph Woll will get the start against Florida after a solid performance in the 3-2 loss to the Penguins, and it is expected that the line changes made at practice on Monday, which had Nylander skating with Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner playing with John Tavares will remain in place.