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Zach Hyman: “Leaving Toronto is easy when it’s not really your decision”.
Credit: Photo by Andy Devlin/NHLI via Getty Images

Tonight (finally) sees the start of the Stanley Cup Final. For those who haven’t lost interest in the current NHL series despite a millennium five full days without hockey, a great final is in prospect.

For the Oilers, Philip Broberg and Warren Foegele will be in uniform tonight. We can therefore assume that Vincent Desharnais and (possibly) Corey Perry will skip their turn.

Still in Edmonton, it’ll be a great opportunity to see Connor McDavid and Leon Draisaitl in action in their bid to lift the big trophy. Of course, they’ll have to pull their team up by the bootstraps, but unlike in years past, they have a solid support group.

Zach Hyman is one of them, in his third year in Edmonton. Signed on the open market in the summer of 2021, Hyman has become even better than he was in Toronto, scoring 54 goals this season.

And yesterday, on the heels of Game #1 of the Finals, Hyman was asked about leaving Toronto in 2021… and he took a jab at his former team, as reported by TVA Sports this morning:

It’s easy [to leave] when it’s not really your decision. – Zach Hyman

What we understand quite clearly is that the decision to let Hyman leave Toronto was not made by the player, but by the team. Presumably, paying the Core Four (and Morgan Rielly) so much money made the Leafs want to trim the fat, and it was deemed appropriate to let Hyman go.

At the time, Hyman’s contract ($5.5 million a year for seven years) was seen as a big gamble by the Oilers. It paid off, but by the summer of 2021, it wasn’t unanimously supported.

In the end, Hyman tested the market and quickly realized that Edmonton was where he wanted to continue his career. After three years, he’s ready to say that this decision (which he was able to make this time) is “the best decision of my life”.

And it’s hard to argue with him when he’s only four games away from winning the Stanley Cup…

In the coming days, Hyman will have the opportunity to make the Leafs regret their decision… and to do so, he’ll have to beat the team that drafted him in 2010, the Florida Panthers.

It’s all in the balance, as they say.

In brief

– Yesterday, he announced his departure from the media world. We wish him all the best.

– Good point.

– For those interested.

– Will the Rangers be stirring the pot?

– Big news in the basketball world.

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