The Toronto Maple Leafs will be without one of their workhorses for a significant portion of the season.
As fans in Toronto will already know gritty Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman played through an unbelievable injury last season, a torn ACL, but that injury of course required a significant healing period. When it was revealed that Hyman had in fact suffered the torn ACL the prognosis suggested that he would be out for months and could even miss time in training camp with the Maple Leafs. On Sunday Toronto Maple Leafs head coach Mike Babcock confirmed this news and much morse.
According to a report from Toronto Maple Leafs insider James Mirtle of The Athletic, on Sunday Babcock provided a timeline for Hyman's return and it will push well into the 2019 - 2020 National Hockey League regular season. Although Babcock himself is not a medical professional the Leafs have some of the best doctors in the NHL under their employ and based on the information Babcock has received he expects Hyman will miss somewhere in the neighborhood of 14 to 15 games to start the regular season.
Now that may not sound too bad if you were thinking days, but 14 to 15 games is much longer than a few days. This would mean that Hyman would not be available to the Maple Leafs in any capacity prior to the month of November, a huge deal when you consider the fact that Hyman was expected to slot in alongside teammates Mitch Marner and John Tavares on the team's top line. Mike Babcock has put Tavares and Marner with Maple Leafs forward Andreas Johnsson to start training camp, presumably due to the absence of Hyman, and that means that Hyman will be playing on the opposite side of the ice from the one he is accustomed to.
Although it sounds like Johnsson might be stuck in that role for a long time, he seems to be taking it relatively well.
"Playing with those guys, it'll be skating, getting the puck to them, standing in front of the net. I’ll let them do all the nice things and I’ll do the dirty work. It’s just hockey, I’ll figure it out.”