James Mirtle of The Athletic: There had been hope that the 29-year old Zach Hyman would take a hometown discount, and that the Toronto Maple Leafs could add term to bring the salary cap hit. Though there are six weeks until free agency opens, the feeling around the team is that a deal likely won’t get done.
- Kevin Papetti: Chris Johnston on the Leaf report: “I really believe that it’s highly unlikely that we’ll see Zach Hyman back with the Leafs”
Multiple sources don’t believe that there have been any substantial or progressing talks dating back to when the sides could have worked out an extension.
There are some teams and agents who think Hyman will get upwards of $6 million on a long-term deal.
Josh Anderson‘s seven-year, $38.5 million deal is a recent comparable.
The Leafs can’t come close to that. The Leafs and Hyman’s camp declined to comment.
The Leafs maybe could do something in the $4.5 million range.
If the Leafs let Hyman walk, and are able to lose Alex Kerfoot in the expansion draft, they’ll have almost $15 million in projected salary cap space. That would be with seven forwards, six defenseman and one goaltender.
It would take a six- or seven-year for the Leafs to bring back Hyman. He may be able to live up to $5 million a year for a few seasons, but age and a history of knee issues could come into play in a few years. Front-loading deals doesn’t have the same appeal as it has in past years because of the high escrow payments.
The Maple Leafs may need to turn to other free agents like Mikael Granlund. They’ve had a previous interest in Granlund.