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Photo Credit: John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports

Say “Hi, man” to Hyman

The moment of Hyman’s return is somewhat bittersweet. We’ve been looking forward to this moment all season, and recently felt that this was going to be the date that the Leafs roster was made whole again, but now here we are living in a world of Mitch Marner having a high ankle sprain and now it may be Christmas before we have a chance to kid ourselves into believing the Leafs will ice a completely healthy lineup.

No more Marner negativity, this is about celebrating Zach Hyman, a player who’s absence has been noted in the lack of toughness and the lack of penalty kill success. Hyman’s try hard ways is something that will hopefully also be infectious for a Leafs team that at times has seemed a little light on effort.

As for where Hyman slots in, well…

Hyman being next to Tavares is no surprise, and that’s exactly where we should want to see him. The addition of Kapanen to that line is a bit more questionable as it lacks a playmaking element, though Hyman and Kapanen both aggressively retrieving pucks and throwing them to the front of the net for Tavares isn’t a terrible thing, I guess. It will be interesting to see how this line does in the next couple of games, as I wouldn’t rule out Spezza or Petan receiving some consideration in that role, or possibly Kerfoot as we saw the other night.

All the salary cap problems associated with the return of Hyman have also been placed on hold for now, as that’s become a “Marner is returning” problem and seems like a situation where the Leafs depth gets to live another day and that’s a pretty good thing too.