Chatter is reaching a crescendo that the Edmonton Oilers and winger Zach Hyman have reached a tentative agreement on a free agent contract. The question now is how long the deal will be and whether the Toronto Maple Leafs will get some form of compensation.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reported on Thursday that the Oilers have reached an accord with the 29-year-old Toronto native on the structure of a deal, with an AAV of 5.5 million on a seven year deal, but if an eight-year max deal is signed by the Leafs and sent to Edmonton, it could lower the salary figure to around $5 million per season.
That would likely entail the Oilers sending the Leafs a mid-round draft pick, but Edmonton has no thirds and only one fourth and fifth in the next two drafts.
According to Andy Strickland , the Leafs were willing to offer an eight-year deal to Hyman, but that was most likely based on offers of five-or-six years from other teams to lower the AAV to under $5 million on a max contract. Based on all the reports regarding the perspective deal, the difference in money between re-signing in Toronto and signing with Edmonton could be anywhere from $4-to-8 million over the balance of the contract, which was simply too much for the Leafs to match on a player approaching 30 with a history of knee injuries.
Leafs GM Kyle Dubas indicated in a media availability on Thursday that the club endeavored to reach a deal with Hyman, but that the club has limitations towards re-signing him with the realities of a flat salary cap for the foreseeable future.
"It was our attention going to retain Zach's services. He's been an excellent player for his entire career here and everyone loves him as a player and a person.We have certain limits that we can go to and we have tried to extend ourselves as best we can, knowing that there would be a strong market for him." Dubas said. "Zach has shown night in, night out that he's going to give his very best to the Toronto Maple Leafs, we've certainly valued that over the years, and that's why we've tried to find a solution here, but Zach has earned every dollar that he's going to get in free agency."
Dubas said that a potential sign-and-trade is possible if it benefits the club, but that he has not been in contact with Oilers GM Ken Holland as of yet. Holland indicated the same in comments to Edmonton reporters this afternoon.
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