July 14, 2024

Zach Hyman Has Been Everything the Oilers Need Him to Be - The Hockey News

On the eve of the 2024 Stanley Cup Final, the Edmonton Oilers were partaking in the annual media day before the big event – this year located in Sunrise, Florida ahead of Game 1.

Though it’s unclear how the topic came about, former Toronto Maple Leaf and current Edmonton Oiler Zach Hyman was asked about his departure from Toronto as a free agent in the summer of 2021.

Hyman told reporters including TSN’s Chris Johnston, that “It’s easy when it’s not really your decision” – referring to the door being closed on any possible return.

A few days ago, Hyman had a sit-down with NHL.com, stating that “Coming here [Edmonton] was the best decision of my life” and that “It wasn’t about the money”.

From the perspective of the Maple Leafs, they found themselves in a harsh reality of riding tightly up against the salary cap that forced the club’s management into tough decisions – including letting Hyman walk out the door for nothing.

“I’d have loved to be a Maple Leaf for life,” Hyman said. “I was from there, our families were from there. But when that door closed and Edmonton had shown interest all along, it was the place I wanted to come.”

‘It Wasn’t About The Money’: Oilers Forward Zach Hyman Explains His Departure From Maple Leafs Ahead of Stanley Cup Final
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The Toronto native signed a seven-year $38.5 million contract with a cap hit of $5.5 million a season – a bargain in comparison to the numbers he’s produced upon his arrival.

Having never scored more than 21 goals in a season, Hyman has risen to stardom scoring 54 goals in 80 games during the 2023-24 regular season, setting career-highs in goals in each of his first three seasons in Edmonton.

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In six seasons with Toronto (2015-21), Hyman scored 91 goals and 107 assists for 198 points in 377 regular and postseason games. In comparison, he has already scored 145 goals and tallied 114 assists for 259 points in 281 regular and postseason games.

Hyman’s move to Edmonton has indeed paid off, both for him and the team. His presence has been pivotal in the Oilers’ run to the Stanley Cup Final, leading this year’s 2024 postseason in goals with 14 – the most since Brayden Point in 2021 and just five away from tying the record for one playoff year of 19.

Years later, the Toronto native is proving to be a piece the Leafs deeply miss. On the other hand, he has turned out to be worth every penny and an outright steal for a contender that is four wins away from the Stanley Cup.

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