Before the crack of 9am Darren Dreger had new news that many Leafs fans didn’t want to hear…
Sources say the Maple Leafs have granted Zach Hyman’s agent, Todd Reynolds permission to speak with other NHL clubs to investigate trading his rights.
— Darren Dreger (@DarrenDreger) July 15, 2021
This isn’t surprising given that yesterday Pierre LeBrun was reporting a significant gap between the Leafs and Zach Hyman in their negotiations, and that it was almost certain he would be testing the waters of free agency.
This decision by the Leafs to allow the discussions allows for two things. The first being the slight possibility, as Dreger mentions, that the Leafs will be able to trade his rights. In that case the Leafs would likely be adding a mid to late round pick in a draft where any draft pick helps them.
The other thing is that when the Hyman camp explores their options they might not find a deal significantly better from what they will receive from the Leafs, and the preference might still be towards staying in Toronto. This is also unlikely, but hey, who am I to completely takeaway your hope?
The reality of this is this is an opportunity for Hyman to receive offers early and nothing will materialize until June 28th and he’ll swiftly sign elsewhere at that date.
There is no question that Zach Hyman has been one of the best Leafs over his tenure, and all the best to him where ever he lands as long as it’s not Montreal or Boston. He’s earned the right to get paid, but reality is the Leafs know better than to be the team that follows through on that.