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Maple Leafs Debating Internally a Future Zach Hyman Trade [Report]

The Toronto Maple Leafs know Zach Hyman’s contract value won’t be a steal forever. As such, there’s internal debate about a future trade.

Considering we just finished writing a piece about the value of the contracts for the entire roster of the Toronto Maple Leafs and noted Zach Hyman’s deal was universally voted the best contract on the team, it’s surprising to read that the Leafs might be having an internal debate about the future of the forward, what he’ll cost, and where he fits with the organization.

Related: Why Burke Is So Critical of Addition of Joe Thornton to Maple Leafs

The Athletic’s Jonas Siegel and James Mirtle went back and forth on what the future looks like for three pending free agents in Toronto — Hyman, goaltender Frederik Andersen, and defenseman Morgan Rielly. Suggesting the team can’t afford to keep all three players, the conversation about what Hyman will be worth and/or seeking on an extension got interesting.

Hyman has one more season at $2.25 million left on his current deal and both Siegel and Mirtle believe he would be a slam dunk decision for Leafs GM Kyle Dubas if Hyman would be willing to take a home-town discount to stay. But, there’s some concern about his value around the NHL and what the team can afford given his age, where he might slot in the lineup and the other forwards the team already has on its roster.

Siegel writes of Hyman:

He’s become not only an important player on the ice, but a culture-setter, representing many of the ideals the team is searching for as a whole. He’s competitive, hard-working, and relentless in his approach night after night.

The Leafs value Hyman but if he wants top-of-market compensation, things get tricky for the Leafs. The Leafs are likely envisioning somewhere in and around the $4 million mark per season but know that another team could come in and offer a lot more.

At the same time, if his perceived value or ask goes well beyond $4 million per season, the Leafs have to make a serious decision about where he fits on their roster and if he’s more of a top-six forward worth the long-term investment? Right now he’s an incredible value. What do you do with him when he’s not?

Zach Hyman Toronto Maple Leafs
Zach Hyman Toronto Maple Leafs

What If The AAV Goes Up For Hyman?

Mirtle writes that this is not a small decision for Toronto who is already cap strapped and that there is some debate internally about where Hyman fits long term which is why price matters. Mirtle adds, “I believe some members of the front office would be open to exploring a trade, as Hyman could have considerable value on the open market.”

Considering the Leafs top six could include players like Ilya Mikheyev and Nick Robertson, Hyman is a question mark at his age and the Leafs might think getting back assets is the better way to go since his on-ice and contract value are so strong. In the end, Mirtle notes, “But I expect those who want to keep him, including the GM, will win out.”

The key is getting that cap hit on his next contract as low as possible. If the Leafs don’t think they’ll have luck there, expect discussions about a move to heat up.

Next: Canucks’ Goalie Thatcher Demko: Can He Be Impossibly Great?

1 Comment

1 Comment

  1. Alex McWhiter

    December 1, 2020 at 2:25 pm

    The one player this team can’t afford to deal is Hyman, like stated he is everything that you wished other’s in the group would take a page from. Like his work ethic and determination at least these qualities would go a long way with that talent some of these player’s have.unless this core takes the next step and add more to their game’s and become more complete player’s this team will continue to either not make the playoffs or just lose out in the first rnd again and again. If these player’s do become more complete the additions that Kyle’s made this off-season could be the difference. Just like Tampa, the player’s that’s the core needs to add grit, and become a lot harder to play against, then and only then will this team become a true contending team, Is this the season? Cheerz ?

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