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Hyman Leaves Door Open to Moving on From Maple Leafs This Offseason

Zach Hyman was asked if he’d like to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs and noted he would, but he would have to see what “makes sense.”

A number of the Toronto Maple Leafs unrestricted free agents spoke this week about their potential futures with the team. Goaltender Frederik Andersen says he has plans to chat with GM Kyle Dubas soon, Jason Spezza noted, “I feel like there’s a lot of unfinished business, I feel very invested in the group here and hopeful that I get another opportunity” and Joe Thornton wasn’t sure what his future would hold, saying he wanted to be a dad for a bit, but felt healthy.

One of the key free agents everyone in Toronto will be watching closely is Zach Hyman. He spoke with the media on Wednesday and noted: “I haven’t looked too far ahead. No one foresaw our season ending so abruptly. I’ve been digesting what’s happened over the last two weeks.”

Hyman did say that he would like to remain with the Leafs if “something makes sense” and it’s not entirely clear what that meant, even though it’s pretty easy to read between the lines.

Hyman Knows His Value

While the consensus belief if that Hyman has a keen interest in staying with the Maple Leafs, there are only a handful of scenarios in which the team can afford to keep him. The Leafs are tight against the salary cap and Hyman is due to get a significant bump in pay. So much so, there’s a good chance the Leafs can’t afford him without making other significant moves.

Hyman is coming off a contract that will paid him $2.25 million per season. Some are suggesting he’ll make as such as $6 million times 6 years in free agency. That’s not a workable number for the Maple Leafs and while he might be prepared to leave a little money on the table, “if something makes sense” could hint there’s only so far he’s willing to give.

Zach Hyman Toronto Maple Leafs
Zach Hyman Toronto Maple Leafs

If the Leafs come to Hyman and ask him to stay for $4 -$4.5 million per season, he’s potentially leaving $12 million on the table over the course of a long-term extension. As many might imagine, that doesn’t make much sense.

No Reason to Panic Over Hyman… Yet

While Hyman didn’t commit to coming back to Toronto at any cost, he also didn’t say he was definitely going to test the free agent market. It is likely the Leafs and Hyman’s people have extensive conversations before then to see what Hyman is looking for or expecting on a long-term deal and then Kyle Dubas will have a chance to look at his roster, make any necessary changes and make it work.

If that’s not possible, then expect the Hyman chatter to pick up.

Next: 3 Reasons for Toronto Maple Leafs Elimination From 2021 NHL Playoffs

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