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Leafs teammates 'really excited' about William Nylander's return

Some of William Nylander's teammates arrived at the arena early before their Saturday night game against the Minnesota Wild, eagerly anticipating news of a contract extension that would bring the star forward back to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup.

When coach Mike Babcock told them Nylander had signed a six-year deal, they were thrilled. Then they got their cell phones out.

"Babs popped out of the office and said we signed him," Mitch Marner said after Toronto's 5-3 win in St. Paul. "Of course everyone nowadays just goes right to a phone, so about 20 of us go over, grab our phones. The next thing you know, you see the signing.

"We're all really excited about it. We can't wait to get him back in Toronto."

Nylander, a restricted free agent, signed moments before the 5 p.m. ET deadline Saturday, inking a deal that will pay him an average annual value of $ 6.9 million US, and allow him to play the rest of the season.

'It's great news'

His entry-level contract had expired July 1 and negotiations stretched through the summer and into the season, ultimately forcing the 22-year-old winger to miss a third of the 2018-19 campaign.

"It's great. It's great news. We hope to get him here as soon as possible," said star centre Auston Matthews. "He's a big part of this team. Hopefully he gets us on a run here, get in a couple practices.

"It's the same thing coming back from injury — you need a couple games to kind of get going but I'm sure he's been skating quite a bit and he's excited to get back with his teammates and start playing some hockey games."

Toronto, labelled a Cup contender early on, has done well in Nylander's absence, going 19-8-0 to sit second in the Atlantic Division after 27 games.

Added punch

The Maple Leafs have won four straight and eight of their last 10.

"A lot of depth, guys obviously stepping up in big moments," Matthews said of Toronto's success despite missing Nylander. "I think that's a big key to our team and something we have going for us that not a lot of teams do is having a lot of depth. When guys go down, other guys step up and we've got tons of skill to go with it."

Nylander is coming off back-to-back 61-point seasons, including a 2017-18 campaign that saw him score 20 goals and add 41 assists.

The Calgary-born Swede has 48 goals and 87 assists for 135 points in 185 career games. Nylander has added two goals and six assists in 13 playoff outings.

"I'm very happy. He's a big part of the team. We've been saying that all along," Marner said. "Having him back, it's just going to add more fire to this team and make us deeper.

"It's exciting. I can't wait to have him back. He's a great player, so we're excited about it."

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Simon Pegg Was 'Really Angry' At 'Star Trek Beyond' Trailers for Spoiling Key Scene

Simon Pegg is opening up about Star Trek Beyond’s lackluster box office performance, and has some specific ideas regarding why the movie failed to connect with audiences as well as its predecessors had.

Speaking with Geek Exchange recently, the actor — who played Montgomery “Scotty” Scott in the rebooted series and co-wrote the third film — said he felt the film was “poorly marketed,” which resulted in it under-performing financially.

“If you look at a film like Suicide Squad, that was around for such a long time before it finally came out and people were so aware of it. Whereas with Star Trek Beyond, it was left too late before they started their marketing push,” Pegg shared. “It still did great business, but it was disappointing compared to [Star Trek Into Darkness].”

Beyond, which hit theaters in July 2016, had a budget of $ 185 million, but only managed to make back $ 158.8 million domestically and $ 343.6 million worldwide.

By comparison, Into Darkness earned a worldwide box office gross of $ 467.3 million off a $ 190 million budget.

Some fans of the franchise have said the film’s first trailer — which was set the Beastie Boy’s “Sabotage” and focused primarily on the movie’s action sequences instead of its characters or levity — turned them off to the idea of watching it.

According to Pegg, the trailer actually spoiled the movie’s major climactic scene.

“I was really angry about that,” he said. “[The trailer] used ‘Sabotage,’ which was our surprise moment in the end. It was supposed to be a very fun and heightened twist, and something that was a big surprise and they blew it in the first trailer, which really annoyed me.”

Pegg also lamented the fact that the promos “made the film look like a boneheaded action film.”

While Pegg was disappointed about the film’s advertising campaign, the 48-year-old actor — who is currently appearing in Steven Speilberg’s new sci-fi epic Ready Player One — he appreciated the love the film ended up getting from many fans.

“From a professional standpoint for me, it was such a great experience in the end, because the critical response that we did get was exactly what [co-writer] Doug Jung and I and [director] Justin Lin had hoped for.”

As for the upcoming fourth film in the franchise, Pegg explained that there is “a script that’s been written.” However, things are somewhat up in the air amid the news that Quentin Tarantino could be involved with the creation of the next installment in the franchise.

“There’s also the story of Quentin Tarantino coming and chatting with J.J. [Abrams] about an idea that he’s had for a long time. That idea is going into the writer’s room to be looked at,” Pegg said. “I think it might take something like him to restart it.”

The actor admitted that Tarantino penning a Star Trek script could actually be “an interesting proposition.”

“I don’t know if that means everybody will be blowing each other’s heads off with phasers and calling Klingons mother f*****s, but, who knows?” Pegg said. “That could be fun.”

However, before any iteration of a new Star Trek hits the big screen, Pegg will also be starring alongside Tom Cruise in the upcoming Mission: Impossible – Fallout.

ET’s Cameron Mathison caught up with Pegg at the Hollywood premiere of Ready Player One on Monday, and he opened up about working alongside Cruise for the third time in the series, and the wild stunts the movie promises — including one that led to Cruise getting seriously hurt.

“It was almost a year [of shooting]. We took some time out [of production] because Tom broke his foot, but he recovered in a bizarrely quick way as only he probably would,” Pegg joked. “[But] it’s crazy what we do in this one. I mean, it’s falling off things again, but higher and more dangerous.”

According to Pegg, the take showing Cruise’s injury is actually in the film. “Your foot shouldn’t touch your knee, not on the same leg. But it did and it’s gross,” he joked.

While he said he’s impressed by Cruise’s dedication, he’s concerned about the star’s determination to one-up himself in each Mission: Impossible film.

“I worry because every time we do one he has to kind of raise the bar and at some point that’s going to mean death,” Pegg said.

Ready Player One comes out March 29. Mission: Impossible – Fallout explodes into theaters July 27.

RELATED CONTENT:

A Look Back at Tom Cruise’s Most Dangerous Movie Stunts Ever — Watch!

EXCLUSIVE: ‘Star Trek Beyond’ Cast Says They Feel Like They’re ‘Morphing Into the Original Cast’

Tom Cruise Says His Ankle Is ‘Still Healing’ After He Broke It on ‘Mission: Impossible 6’ Set

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Chris Messina Talks ‘Satisfying,' 'Really Smart' Finale to ‘The Mindy Project' (Exclusive)

The Mindy Project fans might be getting the series finale they always wanted!

Chris Messina, who portrays Danny Castellano on the sitcom, opened up to ET at the 2017 American Cinematheque Awards about the beloved Hulu show’s upcoming final episode.

When asked whether Mindy Lahiri (Mindy Kaling) and Danny will finally work things out and get back together, he replied, “I don’t want to spoil anything, but I think it’s a satisfying ending and I don’t want to spoil anything but I hope you enjoy it… I hope they love it. When I read the script, I thought it was a really smart way to end the show, and those guys are the best. Great writers, great actors, I’m going to miss them.”

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Louis Tomlinson Is 'Really Excited' For His Son Freddie To Have Play Dates With Liam Payne's Newborn Bear

Looks like One Directions’ next generation will grow up being just as good friends as their dads!

In an interview with ITV on Monday, Louis Tomlinson opened up about his former bandmate Liam Payne’s new son, Bear, and how he can’t wait for him to get together with his own baby boy, Freddie.

RELATED: Louis Tomlinson is Already Teaching Son Freddie the Guitar — See the Sweet Pic!

“I’m super happy for him and we haven’t been able to do it yet, logistically, but I’m really excited about having Freddie and Bear in the same room,” Tomlinson revealed. “It’s gonna be cool.”

The 25-year-old singer welcomed Freddie with his ex-girlfriend, Briana Jungwirth, last January, while Payne’s girlfriend, Cheryl Cole, gave birth to Bear in March. 

One Direction is still close following their 2016 hiatus, with Tomlinson recently revealing that he’s patched things up with former member Zayn Malik. 

“My mum said, ‘You’ve got to get back in contact with Zayn,'” Tomlinson told The Sun of his mom’s advice before she died of leukemia last December. “‘Life’s too f**king short.'”

WATCH: Louis Tomlinson Opens Up About His Mother’s Death: ‘I’ve Just Got to Keep Going’

“I met up with him and it was nice. It was that brotherly love. We will always have that love for each other. I can’t speak on behalf of him, but we really care about each other,” he said.

See more on the band in the video below. 

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