April 29: Hyman’s surgery was successful and he will now begin his long process of rehabilitation and recovery.
April 26: Everyone is injured to some degree if they’re still playing at this time of year, but every postseason there are a handful of unbelievable injuries that some NHLers are able to play through. The first such case in 2019 has come to light, as the Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that Zach Hyman suffered a torn ACL in his knee during the team’s first round series against the Boston Bruins. Hyman is scheduled to undergo surgery on Monday, after which the timeline for his recovery is at least six months. His status for the start of the regular season is very much in doubt.
Hyman limped off the ice not once, not twice, but three times over the course of the Maple Leafs’ hard-fought seven games against the Bruins, but Hyman himself claims the injury occurred in Game Four of the series. Yet, Hyman continued to play for three more games, seemingly without a hitch. He averaged 18:07 average time on ice in the series, fourth-most among Toronto forwards, and recorded a goal and 25 hits. The skilled two-way forward played his role as best he could and Hyman is one of the few Leafs who have avoided a share of the blame pie since the team was eliminated. One can only imagine the pain that Hyman had to endure to continue playing on a torn ACL, which should only gain him further favor with the Toronto faithful.
However, the team must now consider that Hyman will almost certainly miss training camp and possibly weeks or months of the regular season while he recovers. The 26-year-old winger is coming off of a career year offensively and that production, as well as his gritty style, will need to be replaced early on. Hyman’s $2.25MM cap hit will likely be off the books to begin the year, which should help the Leafs slightly with their cap crunch, but how the team will go about using their small amount of cap space while also properly accounting for Hyman’s potential absence will be something to watch for as Toronto shakes things up this summer.