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Rick Zamperin: Oilers closing in on Maple Leafs’ Zach Hyman

There was plenty of speak concerning the “large 4” in Toronto, however it’s clear as day that the Maple Leafs merely won’t be pretty much as good with out their sparkplug on the ice.

Zach Hyman could not mild up the scoresheet like 2021 Rocket Richard Trophy winner Auston Matthews. He is probably not as flashy with the puck as Mitch Marner and William Nylander. And Hyman doesn’t have the general talent set that captain John Tavares does.

However — and it is a large however in Leafs-land — nobody in a Toronto uniform has competed as arduous, or has gotten their nostril as soiled, as Hyman has throughout his tenure in blue and white.

That’s the reason his impending departure out of Toronto and to the previous North Division rival Edmonton Oilers hits the Leafs the place they’ll least afford it: within the intangibles division.

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Hyman brings his arduous hat — full of power, tenacity, and a no-quit angle — to the rink each night time. The identical can’t be mentioned for his soon-to-be-former teammates.

The Toronto native has amassed 86 targets and 99 assists in 345 profession video games, lots of them enjoying alongside Matthews, and Hyman was heading towards a profession 12 months in 2021 earlier than he suffered a sprained MCL in his proper knee in April which prompted him to overlook two weeks.

So far as his departure from Toronto goes, the writing was on the wall.

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The 29-year-old unrestricted free agent winger is free to go to whichever crew he desires after his present contract, which paid him $2.25-million a season, expired.

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The Oilers are a pure vacation spot for Hyman, a former star with the Hamilton Pink Wings in his junior hockey days, they usually have reportedly provided the grinder greater than double his present wage.

Varied media studies in each cities recommend Edmonton normal supervisor Ken Holland is providing Hyman a seven-year contract with a mean annual worth (AAV) of $5.5 million.

If the Oilers and Maple Leafs can come collectively on a sign-and-trade deal, Hyman may get an additional 12 months on that contract, however would as a substitute earn $5 million per season, thus giving Edmonton a bit of extra wiggle room beneath the NHL‘s stagnant wage cap.

Regardless of having all-world superstars Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl, Edmonton has not had very a lot playoff success.

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Learn extra:
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Buying a hard-nosed participant like Hyman — who had 33 factors in 43 video games final season — can be a giant increase to their prime line and the crew’s depth up-front.

For Toronto, will probably be a large loss.

There isn’t one other Zach Hyman on Toronto’s roster, and the Leafs want extra gamers like him, not fewer.

Rick Zamperin is the assistant program, information and senior sports activities director at International Information Radio 900 CHML.

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