William Nylander needs to repair the relationship between himself and Leafs Nation, and he’s taking the first step with a new team number. Call it silly or superstitious, but committing to a new number is a solid first step for Nylander to breakout in 2019/20.
The Leafs holdout from a season prior took to Twitter to announce that he’s taking up his old number, 88, for the upcoming season. He also has set up an agreement with Real Sports in Toronto to cover the cost of fans getting their ’29’ Nylander jerseys re-crested.
Making the switch … what’s old is new again #88
I’ve got you covered Leafs Nation, go to @realsportstoronto to have your jersey recrested on me. pic.twitter.com/gQWHZVxQMo
— William Nylander (@wmnylander) July 15, 2019
It may not be anything massive, but it’s a solid move for Nylander to help out fans who want to stay up to date on his jersey. More importantly, it appears that Nylander is motivated to capture the form he showed at the World Hockey Championship with Sweden earlier this year.
This should be welcomed news to Leafs fans, too, as Nylander ended the tournament as the leading scorer with five goals and thirteen assists in the tournament. There is a lot of reason to believe Nylander will be a breakout candidate for the upcoming season too.
He’ll likely be stuck beside Auston Matthews opposed to on Nazem Kadri’s wing, or centering the third line as he did in the playoffs. More time with Matthews means more ice time, more scoring chances, and top powerplay minutes as well. All of these, over a full season too, bodes well for Nylander to shake off his half-season from a year prior and hit the ground running.
The commitment to changing his number to try and capture some lightning in a bottle is telling of what Nylander thinks he’ll need to do to win all of us back. Score goals and produce, that’s it. Once the scoresheet is filled with his name, it’s a no-brainer that his holdout will be a thing of the past and we’ll all be looking forward to his pending offensive surge forward.