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Photo Credit: Bob Frid-USA TODAY Sports

Report: Edmonton Oilers one of three front runners for UFA Zach Hyman

The Edmonton Oilers are one of three front runners to sign UFA forward Zach Hyman, The Star’s Kevin McGran reported Thursday.

According to McGran, the Calgary Flames and Vancouver Canucks are believed to be the other two in the lead for the 29-year-old, while the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins, and Detroit Red Wings have also inquired.

Earlier today, Hyman reportedly gained permission to speak with other teams about a sign-and-trade allowing the possibility of a team acquiring him to go as long as eight years on an extension.

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McGran also reported that Hyman’s ask is in the $5-million a year mark over that max term.

Other reports have suggested Hyman could command upwards of $6-million in AAV as well as a six-year term.

While Evolving Hockey’s contract projections have his most likely deal at four years and a $5.325-million AAV, his salary on a six-year deal could reach as high as $6.38-million. Over eight years it climbs to $6.7-million.

He’s played in six seasons in the NHL scoring 86 goals and 185 points. Over the last three years, his most common linemates have been Mitch Marner, John Tavares and Auston Matthews so he can play up a lineup and would likely slot in alongside Connor McDavid. This year, he scored 2.14 P/60 and 1.83 in 2019-20 and 1.96 in 2018-19. Among Oilers forwards, that would rank 3rd, 6th, and 3rd, respectively.

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Hyman plays a physical game and dominates in front of the net with his 6’1, 209 lb. frame. At 5×5 last year, he posted a 52.26 CF%, 66.67 GF% and a 59.95 xGF% and a fairly high 104.6 PDO that I would expect to come down next year, wherever he plays.

The big issue is the term. It’s a killer. As Jason Gregor wrote this morning, term is a killer and you can’t just accept to overpay, because it causes huge issues down the road.

David Clarkson. Nathan Horton. Milan Lucic. Kyle Okposo. David Backes.

All of these players fall right into Hyman territory. Hyman, too, has had his share of injuries. He tore his ACL at the end of the 2018-19 season and missed a dozen games this season, too.

Add this to his physical style of play and you have all the signs that point towards Hyman falling down the same path as those that crossed before him.

An eight-year deal takes him to 37-years-old and if there’s one thing we’ve seen, it’s that players in their 30s typically experience significant drops in their game. Could Hyman be an outlier? Sure, but I’m not one who wants to bet on outliers like him.

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Zach Laing is the Nation Network’s news director and senior columnist. He can be followed on Twitter at @zjlaing, or reached by email at [email protected]