Leafs ruining Hyman sign and trade with Oilers

Toronto is not out of it and acts tough in negotiations…


Earlier this week there was almost a clear sense that forward Zach Hyman would be moving on from the Toronto Maple Leafs this offseason. Then talks of a sign and trade deal with the Edmonton Oilers started to emerge and it pretty much felt like this was it. 

But it is not… for now. 

It began with reports that the Oilers and Hyman were discussing a seven-year deal worth as much as $5.5 million per season. There’s also the possibility of a sign-and-trade, which would allow Edmonton (or another club) to negotiate an eight-year contract with Hyman. 

However, Darren Dreger reported on last night’s edition of Insider Trading that the Maple Leafs were playing hard ball and were staying in the running to keep a hand on Hyman and have him return to Toronto after all. This could therefore ruin the sign and trade option with Edmonton, though Hyman could still end up there on a seven-year deal as soon as free agency opens. 

“Ongoing discussions primarily with the Edmonton Oilers although there are some who believe that the Toronto Maple Leafs aren’t officially out. But look, if the Oilers are going to have access to that eighth year, then it has to be a sign and trade and Kyle Dubas and Ken Holland are going to have to communicate on what the compensation is going to be. The Oilers aren’t going to feel comfortable paying a third- or a fourth-round pick, they look at a sixth- or a seventh-round pick as compensation. Otherwise, they’ll wait until the 28th. We know that Zach Hyman spent at least a good part of Wednesday in Edmonton meeting with the brass and touring the city. So you might want to put a little bit of money on the Oilers.” 

We all saw how Hyman has been a key piece to Toronto’s top-six forward core in the past few seasons, able to keep up and get Auston Matthews and Mitch Marner going on the ice. There was hope that a deal could get done when the Oilers managed to re-sign Ryan Nugent-Hopkins to an eight-year, $41 million contract, though Hyman is still looking for a steep raise. 

Leafs general manager still isn’t ruling out the idea of having Hyman stay in Toronto, per insider Kristen Shilton of TSN. 

“I really don’t know. It was our intention going into [free agency] to retain Zach’s services. But we have certain limits that we can go to [in terms of salary cap], and we’ve tried to extend ourselves as best we can, knowing that there would be a strong market for him.”

Hyman has spent the entirety of his career in Toronto, compiling 86 goals and 185 points over 345 games. With his four-year, $9-million contract in the books, Hyman has emerged as both a top-line winger due for a top raise. 

What the Leafs are doing at the moment might only give Maple Leafs fans just a few more days to dream about retaining Hyman’s services before he leaves, and even becomes an Oilers, as a free agent…