Zach Hyman

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Maple Leafs expect Hyman, Dermott to miss significant time

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Once you get beyond the sticker shock of the $10.89M cap hit, the Mitch Marner contract is a reason for the Toronto Maple Leafs to rejoice. Rather than the saga drag on deep into the season like the William Nylander fiasco, Marner is gearing up in training camp.

Apparently the Maple Leafs will still be without a noteworthy player or two anyway, even though their losses aren’t nearly as significant as the prospect of being without Marner.

Head coach Mike Babcock estimates that forward Zach Hyman could miss approximately 14-15 games, while defenseman Travis Dermott may be sidelined for a similar span (12-14 games), according to TSN’s Karen Shilton.

If that forecast is correct, then the Maple Leafs could anticipate Hyman and Dermott back sometimes during this range:

Game 12 – Oct. 25: home vs. Sharks
Game 13 – Oct. 26: at Canadiens
Game 14 – Oct. 29: home vs. Capitals
Game 15 – Nov. 2: at Flyers

Naturally, when it comes to injuries, things can change. Ailments can worsen, or players can heal up faster than expected.

All due respect to two useful players in Dermott and Hyman, but the cap management aspect — particularly use of LTIR, and juggling once they’re ready to come back — is likely the most interesting part of this situation.

We already know that Nathan Horton ($5.3M AAV) and David Clarkson ($5.25M) will be on LTIR through the final season of their tragic contracts, providing $10.55M. Hyman carries $2.25M, while Dermott weighs in at $863K. The window for an LTIR stay is at least 10 games and 24 days, so one would expect that Hyman and Dermott would join Clarkson and Horton on LTIR. With Dermott’s cost fairly minimal, things would be most cramped once Hyman is healthy enough to play again. Will Toronto be forced to make a trade, or waive someone they’d rather keep?

Losing Hyman and Dermott for what sounds like close to a month isn’t great to begin with, but things could be especially tricky once they can actually play.

Although the Maple Leafs solved some of their biggest riddles, they’ll still need to answer more questions in the short term, so Babcock could be a busy man — almost as busy as Kyle Dubas.

(H/T to Rotoworld.)

MORE:
• ProHockeyTalk’s 2019 NHL free agency tracker
• Your 2019-20 NHL on NBC TV schedule

James O’Brien is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @cyclelikesedins.

Maple Leafs’ Hyman ejected after late hit on Bruins’ McAvoy

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Update: Hyman will have a discipline hearing with the NHL’s Department of Player Safety on Sunday for this hit

We’ve already had one questionable hit on Saturday, and now we have a second.

This one comes at the mid-way point of the third period in the game between the Boston Bruins and the Toronto Maple Leafs.

With the Bruins leading 6-2, Charlie McAvoy gets the puck from Jaroslav Halak behind his own net and makes the pass to his defense partner. Hyman comes in at an angle where McAvoy can’t see him and drills him with a blindside hit well after the puck had made its way to the other side of the ice.

It appears that McAvoy hits his head on the boards the way down.

You can see the hit here:

The hit is made all the worse given that McAvoy just returned to the lineup on Thursday after missing 20 games with a concussion.

Hyman got a five-minute major for interference on the McAvoy hit, five minutes for fighting Bruins’ Matt Grzelcyk and a game misconduct. Grzelcyk was tossed, too.

The fisticuffs didn’t end there. A minute later, Chris Wagner got a penalty for charging Morgan Rielly which prompted Ron Hainsey to step in and fight Wagner.

McAvoy returned to the bench just prior to the game ending but did not take another shift.


Scott Billeck is a writer for Pro Hockey Talk on NBC Sports. Drop him a line at phtblog@nbcsports.com or follow him on Twitter @scottbilleck

Leafs ink Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry-level deal

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have inked forward Zach Hyman to a two-year, entry level contract the club announced on Tuesday.

Hyman was acquired by the Leafs from the Florida Panthers last week along with a conditional seventh-round pick in 2017 in exchange for Greg McKegg.

With Hyman signing, the Panthers retain the seventh round selection.

It’s not too surprising that the Leafs were able to come to terms with Hyman. As Ryan Kennedy of The Hockey News notes, Leafs assistant GM Kyle Dubas was an agent with Uptown Sports, the agency, which currently represents Hyman.

The 23-year-old had 22 goals and 54 points in 37 games with the University of Michigan during the 2014-15 season.

The 6-foot-1, 205-pound Hobey Baker finalist was the Panthers’ fifth round selection (123rd overall) in 2010.

The Leafs also announced the signing of defensemen Petter Granberg and Tim Erixon to one-year contracts on Tuesday.

According to Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston, Erixon’s deal is a one-way contract worth $600,000 while Granberg’s extension is a two-way, $600,000 deal.

Erixon dressed in 15 games with the Leafs during the 2014-15 season scoring a goal and registering a minus-5 rating while averaging 15:48 a night in ice time.

The 24-year-old started the season in Columbus appearing in 19 games for the Blue Jackets before being dealt to Chicago in December. Erixon played eight games for the Blackhawks prior to being claimed off of waivers by the Leafs in March.

Granberg appeared in seven games for the Leafs during the 2014-15 season registering a plus-1 rating while averaging 11:27 in time on ice. The 22-year-old also played in 53 AHL games with the Marlies scoring one goal and 15 points to go a long with a plus-14 rating.

He was originally the Leafs fourth-round selection (116th overall) at the 2010 NHL Draft.

Photo courtesy of Uptown Sports

Related: No GM, no problem for the Maple Leafs?