An odd year has spawned another unique twist. The first report broke earlier Thursday morning that the Toronto Maple Leafs gave gritty winger Zach Hyman permission to seek shelter on the NHL trade market ahead of his pending free agency on July 28.
Most reports, including from Daren Dreger of TSN and Andy Strickland in St. Louis rattled off the same teams: Edmonton Oilers, Vancouver Canucks, Calgary Flames, and the St. Louis Blues.
However, later Thursday afternoon the Toronto Star’s Kevin McGran unearthed yet another team on the NHL trade market which was interested in the trade-and-sign. Yes, the Pittsburgh Penguins made their first appearence in official NHL trade rumors this week.
Now, before you get too excited, PHN Editor-in-Chief Dan Kingerski offered this analysis:
“I can’t see it. Hyman’s cost will be above $5 million per season and he wants eight years,” Kingerski analyzed. “He’s a right-winger, so you’re signing him to be a third liner, or replacing Bryan Rust with a player who is older and not as good. Hyman is a gritty, net-front guy who would fit well, right now, but he’s also a complimentary player and an eight-year deal doesn’t sound like GM Ron Hextall’s cup of tea.”
According to McGrann, offers have already rolled in for Zach Hyman which are over $5 million per season.
Other Hockey Now cities including the Boston Bruins, Florida Panthers and Detroit Red Wings also kicking the tires, according to Hyman’s agent Todd Reynolds.
PHN efforted to reach Reynolds before publishing but was unsuccessful.
Hyman, 29, is 6-foot-1, 211 pounds and chipped in 15 goals and 33 points in 43 games last season. His four-year, $9 million contract expires on July 28. The RW scored 21 goals in successive seasons, in 2018-19 and 2019-20.
He also had ACL surgery in the summer of 2018. He tore his knee in Game 4 of the 2018 Round One series against Boston, but played 71 games in the 2018-19 season.
Toronto coaches have slid Hyman up and down the talented Maple Leafs lineup throughout his six-year career. Those coaches include Mike Babcock and Sheldon Keefe.
Eight-years at more than $5 million would seem too rich for the Penguins, especially the double cost of spending an asset just to get the player. However, Hyman does fit Brian Burke’s “truculence” style, though Hyman’s start in Toronto did not overlap with Burke’s tenure as the Maple Leafs GM.