Zach Hyman, star of the Edmonton Oilers.
Photo credit: NHLPA

Zach Hyman Reveals How He Left The Leafs During Free Agency

Published March 23, 2024 at 5:56 PM

Zach Hyman has been one of the NHL's best free agent acquisitions by the Edmonton Oilers, and now he's opened up on just why he had to leave the Maple Leafs.

No one quite saw what Zach Hyman would become in the NHL, but since leaving the Toronto Maple Leafs, he's been on a tear with the Edmonton Oilers, notching his career high in goals in each of the three seasons he's played in Alberta. This has many regarding Zach Hyman as one of the best free agent signings in recent NHL history, so how exactly did the Toronto Maple Leafs allow him to leave back in the summer of 2021?

Now, the 31-year old has answered that exact question as he prepares to face his former team on Saturday night.

Zach Hyman on leaving Leafs in free agency:

"When I was going through the process, I didn't look at any other teams beside Toronto until I knew that that door was closed & didn't have much of a choice with regards to that door."

His statement could make it hurt even more for the Maple Leafs fans, as he revealed that he was focused only on the Maple Leafs in free agency, and didn't pivot to talking to other teams until he knew that door was officially closed.

Zach Hyman now looks to tally his 50th goal against his former team in Toronto, with 48 in 66 games played this season, and while it's easy to look back on this as a huge loss for the Maple Leafs, no one quite knew what he could become.

Ultimately, Hyman is the perfect example of hard work paying off, as he even admitted himself in a recent interview;

Zach Hyman: "I haven't had the easiest journey in the sense that I was never the best player on my team & nobody thought I would continue to progress, so just continue to hit little milestones & continue to work really hard & just believe in yourself."

It's safe to say that Toronto dropped the ball on Hyman, as he's taken his game to new heights alongside Connor McDavid as he meets his former team in what could be a Stanley Cup preview.
March 23   |   829 answers
Zach Hyman Reveals How He Left The Leafs During Free Agency

Should the Maple Leafs have let Zach Hyman leave as a free agent?

Yes16820.3 %
No66179.7 %
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