The Toronto Maple Leafs have a few key free agents scheduled to hit the open market later this month, with no one more important than Zach Hyman. The Toronto native has turned himself from a fifth-round afterthought into a legitimate top-six option, able to play both wings and score at a high rate. Hyman had 15 goals and 33 points in 43 games this season while also being a key member of the team’s top penalty-killing unit. That success should lead to a big raise this summer, but it appears as though the Maple Leafs and Hyman’s camp aren’t close on a number that works for both sides.
Pierre LeBrun of The Athletic tweets that there is a “sizeable gap in positions,” suggesting that Hyman will indeed hit the open market on July 28. The 29-year-old will likely be one of the top options for many teams looking for forward help because of his versatility, but that will also leave a pretty sizable hole in the Maple Leafs lineup. Of course, as with any of the free agents Toronto is dealing with, any contract before the expansion draft would put the team in a tough situation protection-wise.
- LeBrun also tweets out that there have been talks between the Maple Leafs and free agent netminder Frederik Andersen, but no contract offer to this point. Obviously, Toronto wouldn’t want to sign Andersen before the expansion draft, but it does appear as though he will at least test the market even though there is mutual interest for a reunion. The Maple Leafs frankly just don’t have the cap space to commit much money to Andersen if Jack Campbell is penciled in as the team’s starter, meaning he very well could be looking at a much more lucrative offer on the open market.
- While Hyman and Andersen represent core pieces that have been in Toronto for a while, there are many other unrestricted free agents on the Toronto roster who could be brought back as depth pieces. One of those is Zach Bogosian, who brought some stability to the third pairing for the Maple Leafs last season and is now a free agent once again at the age of 30. Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun reports that though there have been talks between the two sides, it seems likely that Bogosian will test the open market as well, which makes a lot of sense for a player that earned just $1MM on his one-year deal in Toronto. Bogosian is still young enough to earn a multi-year deal, is coming off a Stanley Cup with the Lightning and a strong campaign with the Maple Leafs, and is that always-enticing mix of physical and right-handed. For a Maple Leafs team that can’t overspend on the margins, he may be priced out of their reach.
Bogo to Oilers on a 2 year 2M per deal to play with Keith since they can’t afford Larsson anymore.
Controversial comment of the day: Hyman can go, he will easily be replaced by in-house options or cheaper alternatives on the free agent market. Good luck Zach, the grass might look greener on another team, but don’t disregard the fact you were playing with 2 of the best players on the planet for the last few years.
Hyman’s work along the boards is not easy to replace.
On the contrary. It’s probably easier to replace that element than it is to get someone who scores. Joey Anderson for example. The Leafs acquired him last year, he’s cheap, and can work the boards the same as Zach, only younger. Robertson should be in the top 6 next year also. Barclay Goodrow is a free agent that brings the same elements as Hyman, and will likely be cheaper. Zach Sanford, cup winner in StL. I mean I could go on and on but the point is, there are cheaper players that can do what Hyman did.
Let Hyman go! It is a lot easier than most things. The way he plays and the injuries he has had the leafs are very smart to stay away unless the contract fits exactly what they think it should. If not, bye bye!
I can see a production fall off for Hyman unless he signs with a team that plans on playing him on the top line with a star center. Otherwise, if he’s depended on to create his own scoring then it’s going to be a challenge to replicate his output in Toronto.
The Leafs need more players like Hyman. Losing Hyman would leave them with fewer players like Hyman.
Offer Marner to CBJ for Seth Jones and use the AAV difference to keep Hyman.
@ forwhomjoshbelltolled — That’s an interesting hypothetical, sure. It eases the cap crunch a touch this year, and you’d think Jones would accept a trade to a contender like Toronto. But: next season they’re right back in the cap hell (anyone think Jones will command less than $9 million?), and it doesn’t address something pretty important — does Toronto really need Jones more than they do Marner? Most people would say that Toronto’s got a pretty decent top-four on the backline as it is.
Lmao! No thanks. If you are looking to overpay someone who is beyond brutal defensively among other things then sign Seth!
I wish the oilers had cap space to sign a legit top six winger like Hyman…ahh can’t win em all eh Kenny