Dubas, Tavares, Hyman & Anderson – .

Dubas, Tavares, Hyman & Anderson – .

In this edition of Toronto Maple Leafs News & Rumors, I’ll take a look at the news GM Kyle Dubas generated after the Seattle Kraken expansion draft ended. I will also be reporting news on John Tavares’ injury and what it could mean for his return to the squad.
Finally, I wonder aloud why things are so quiet about Zach Hyman’s free agent signing. He’s supposed to leave Toronto; but, is there a chance he won’t go? What does Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas say about the situation?

Related: Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman: He’s good, huh?

Item One: Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas Puts All His Eggs In One Basket

An article written by Lance Hornby of Toronto sun reported that Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas “doubled the core of his team.”

Dubas put it this way: “I understand that some might look at it and say, ‘This group didn’t succeed.’ and “Why are there no significant changes? “

Then Dubas seemed to specifically link his own success and longevity to the success of the team saying, “But for better or worse, I believe in this group, I believe they are going to do it and I believe that ‘they will win . I believe in them as players, as people. I understand that comes with some doubt because we didn’t break through in the playoffs, but I’m confident they will. I know this decision is mine and what the risk is for me. We’re moving forward that way, so I’m comfortable with that.

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This position may well suit many Maple Leafs fans who want to hold Dubas accountable and suggest he should be fired for failing to bring success to an unsuccessful Maple Leafs fan base. Part of that criticism is that he not only relied on his core of players to get the job done, but paid them accordingly.

And, that fact seems like something many Maple Leafs fans don’t seem to let anyone forget. The Maple Leafs have invested both psychological energy and finances in a small core of elite forwards that include John Tavares, Auston Matthews, Mitch Marner and William Nylander. This group consumes just under half of the team’s total salary cap allocation. Many fans believe that the strategy can never succeed.

William Nylander, Maple Leafs de Toronto (Jess Starr/The Hockey Writers)

So far, this investment has not paid off. Toronto makes the playoffs season after season, but can’t seem to get out of the first round. In fact, the team has made the playoffs or qualifying round (in 2020) for the past five seasons, but they have yet to win a playoff series. Add to that the frustration of not making a second round streak for 17 seasons or the lack of a Stanley Cup in almost 55 years and you’ve got an increasingly impatient fan base. (from “Hyman goes, but Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas challenges Leafs to win,” Lance Hornby, Toronto sun, 23/07/21).

Who can blame the long-suffering fans? They want and expect better, and Dubas and company have not kept their promises. It is aging for them and more difficult for Dubas to explain.

Second Element: Looks like John Tavares will be ready on opening night

Speaking of one of the “culprits” of this salary cap cut – John Tavares, there’s good news from the Maple Leafs that things are looking good for Tavares’ return on opening night. next season.

Dubas told TSN 1050 Overdrive on Thursday that Tavares had been cleared to participate in all on-ice activities. He added that the team will not take any risks with his health and will allow him to gain speed of play. Tavares suffered both a concussion and a knee injury in the opening game of the Toronto playoffs. which could have been a factor in the loss of the Maple Leafs to the Montreal Canadiens.

Third Element: We Finally Know What’s Going On With Zach Hyman

It wasn’t just the moment. News from Todd Reynolds, Zach Hyman’s agent, is that Hyman is gone. Given the constant rumors about Hyman signing a contract with the Edmonton Oilers, when things fell silent for a few days, I wondered if we could be wrong. As in, was there a chance that Hyman was back?

The answer is no. Apparently, the rumors that the Oilers and Hyman had agreed to the terms of a seven- and eight-year contract where Hyman would sign for a $ 5 million salary cap were correct. Word is now that the two general managers – Dubas of Toronto and Ken Holland of Edmonton – were now working to see if a signing and swapping deal could be made.

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For the Oilers, the only way to sign Hyman to an eight-year contract, which would lower the winger’s salary cap, would be through such a signing-and-trade deal with the Maple Leafs. Otherwise, the Oilers and the 29-year-old winger had no other way to sign a contract lasting up to eight years. If Hyman and the Oilers waited until the UFA period began, the Oilers could sign Hyman for “only” a seven-year contract.

Toronto Maple Leafs Zach Hyman (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Chris Young)

If, indeed, when the 29-year-old Hyman signs what many seem to be a risky long-term contract with the Oilers, one has to believe he will be close to playing on a line with the great Connor McDavid this season. next. . It’s a combination that should work.

Until we hear the final word in a tweet from the Toronto sun Terry Koshan, Dubas had reported that he did not know how the conversations between Hyman and the Oilers were going. He responded to a direct question, saying, “At this time, I haven’t heard from Todd (Hyman’s agent) regarding this morning’s reports, so I can’t comment too deeply on it.” . “

Maple Leafs fans should look for Dubas to sign and trade, as that would be the only way for the Maple Leafs to recoup value for the prodigal winger. Dubas admitted he would be open to any possibility that would help the team. Let’s see what he could bring back to the Netherlands. Both organizations have something to gain.

What’s next for the Maple Leafs?

Until the ink hits the dotted line, I guess there is still a small chance Hyman will stick with the Maple Leafs. That said, I’m also sure Maple Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe is already looking for a puck-digging forward for the team’s top line to play with Matthews and Marner.

Mitch Marner and Auston Matthews of the Toronto Maple Leafs (THE CANADIAN PRESS / Nathan Denette)

It makes me wonder about the possibility of Joey Anderson and going to the front row. His reputation seems to be that he is a hardworking winger who has some of these characteristics. Or, who wouldn’t love to see prospect Nick Robertson have a chance to put his offensive disposition to good use somewhere in the top six? Ilya Mikheyev could also be a possibility.

Related: What If Toronto Maple Leafs Nick Robertson Is Really Good?

If Hyman leaves, there are still plenty of potentially valuable pieces to move. It will be interesting to see what the lineup for the 2020-21 season might be.


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