The Toronto Maple Leafs and Zach Hyman appear to be parting ways this summer, but it could potentially even happen before free agency opens later this month. Darren Dreger of TSN reports that the Maple Leafs have granted Hyman’s agent permission to speak with other clubs, opening the door for a trade of his rights before the open market. Dreger adds that there is “considerable interest” league-wide, but some would have to wait until the expansion draft passes to actually sign the pending UFA forward.
Last night, Pierre LeBrun explained on TSN that there was a “pretty sizable gap” in negotiations between Hyman and the Maple Leafs front office, noting that he believes on the open market Hyman could receive between $5.5-6MM (AAV) on the open market. That’s just isn’t possible for Toronto to hand out, especially on a long-term deal to a player that recently turned 29 and has dealt with major knee injuries over the past few seasons. There’s no doubt that Hyman could help the team, but with so much cap tied up in the team’s top forwards, paying him what he’ll receive elsewhere doesn’t make much sense.
Andy Strickland of Bally Sports Midwest believes that no team will get Hyman to sign a contract of fewer than seven years, and lists the St. Louis Blues, Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames and even the Seattle Kraken as potential teams of interest. The Maple Leafs are the only team that can currently offer him an eight-year deal, but could potentially work out a sign-and-trade with one of the other clubs. The Kraken would get a chance to speak with him ahead of the expansion draft as well and could offer an eight-year deal, though that would mean forfeiting their pick from the Maple Leafs roster.
Hyman has been an excellent player for the Maple Leafs the last several years, scoring at a high rate in shortened seasons. After returning from ACL surgery in 2019-20, he scored 21 goals and 37 points in 51 games before the season was shut down. This year, he had 15 goals and 33 points in 43 games, but again fell victim to a knee injury that kept him out for part of the season. He did return in time for the playoffs, but registered just a single goal in seven games against the Montreal Canadiens, despite averaging nearly 23 minutes of ice time.
The Maple Leafs are likely saying goodbye to several pending free agents this summer, but getting back an asset out of a Hyman trade would certainly lessen the blow. The team has one of the lowest values in the league in terms of 2021 draft capital, with just three picks to make this year. With a healthy free agent market and rumors swirling about Tyler Bertuzzi, Hyman could be replaced, though it remains to be seen how taking one of the league’s best forecheckers out of the lineup will affect the rest of their highly-paid forwards.
Photo courtesy of USA Today Sports Images
Damn, I never realized Hyman was going to be David Clarkson 2.0. Any gm who goes beyond four years should be fired on the spot.
Agreed, love the guy but age, style of play and surgically repaired knees should be huge warning signs. Don’t hate that Zach is trying to get paid though based on how much he’s given the leafs
dave frost nhlpa
The core of this club has choked it.
Did they learn anything watching Chicago in resent years? Again,the NHL PA has agreed to the cap. There should be a cap floor with profit sharing to fill out the swell of the cap. Anything over that is a payment toward the pension. It’s that simple. But we are talking about greed on both sides. The best is the buyouts held against the cap,restricting a club to sign a player who,wait for it,can make more money.
I’ve said it a million times,they are both locked in jail cells next to each other-and the other has their key.
There is a cap floor though. $60.2 million. If that’s what you’re referring to
He’s just upset because his team is one of the few that could survive without a cap top which is there to create parity. Without the cap top we would be back to the 80’s and 90’s where teams like NYR, TOR, and DET buy all the free agents and make an unfair playing level for teams like Winnipeg, Hartford and Quebec. But the fans of major markets don’t care if it handcuffs their teams.
You hit the nail in the head.
Leaf fans now are so pissed that there is a CAP!!!
Just ask them how good they did without the CAP?
If there was no CAP now, probably would be 5-6 less teams in the league.
I’m assuming the “resent” years are the years following Cup or multiple Cup championships where nudnick fans complain about not having the draft picks that helped you win? Or complain that the farm system is empty when the rafters are full?
Yinzgrates still stuck in the “resent” years…
Ya know the Kings claimed they wanted to add two top six forwards this off season. They already added Arvidsson…I think Hyman being added and some depth may actually get them in the playoffs in that mediocre division
@ EJesus98 – And Los Angeles is really set other than re-signing Athanasiou. Seven years at $6 million’s an overpay for Hyman (and I’m on record for how max-term is just insane), but the Kings are one of the few teams that could DO it. It gives them no flexibility for the coming season, but.
In 7 years he will be a 36 year old getting 6 million a year. It would be one of the worst contracts in the league for the final 2 years. The style he plays will not age well at all, especially if he doesn’t have a Marner/Matthews on a line with him. Very few teams can say, “you’ll be playing most games with 2 of the best players in the world.”
He will not be the same player unless he plays with star forwards..if on shi**y team he will not be good at all…
I would not go over three years for Hyman. But leave it to the Oilers to make another long term mistake like RNH.
I don’t think RNH is a mistake, at that price honestly his style of game will age well. Maybe the last 2 years we will regret it. But I heard the oil are in on Hyman and you’re right here comes a 7×6. Hyman style of play is great but it don’t age gracefully.
You’ll get three great years out of him and then he’ll be broken, beat and scarred.
I love Zach Hyman and if he gets paid, well, he deserves it. He’s been a warrior for the Leafs.
Not sure why nucks would kick a tire at this guy when they got podz coming next year to be that very same player
… because Hyman’s proven he can perform in the NHL season in and season out, and Podkolzin’s career high in the KHL is eleven points?