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‘It was the best decision I’ve ever made:’ Zach Hyman rejoices over signing with Oilers

Edmonton Oilers Zach Hyman
Photo credit:Perry Nelson-USA TODAY Sports
Zach Laing
1 month ago
Friday had all the pomp and circumstance of the Stanley Cup Finals.
Both teams practiced and took questions from media troves descending upon Florida’s Everglades.
While the background and the setting may have been different, one thing remained the same for Oilers winger Zach Hyman: joy over signing as a free agent with the Edmonton Oilers.
“It’s easy when it’s not really your decision. It was an easy decision for me,” said Zach Hyman. ” We’ve closed the book on Toronto, I’ve said it multiple times, but Edmonton immediately was the place I had my eye on.
“It was the best decision I’ve ever made. I said it recently in an interview, it truly was, a place I thought I would fit in well playing with unbelievable players, and then it was the place I thought would have the best chance to win, and the team I thought I could help the most get to this point. And that’s the ultimate goal.”
Hyman recently told NHL.com‘s Mike Zeisberger he’d “have loved to be a Maple Leaf for life,” admitting his deep family connections there were a driving force in that. But when Hyman headed into free agency in the summer of 2021, it didn’t take long for there to be a realization that things wouldn’t work out. The Leafs had a cap crunch, trying to save as much as they could, and even tried to salvage things through a sign-and-trade, but that didn’t work out.
Early into free agency, Hyman inked a seven-year deal paying him $5.5-million annually, and he’s been worth every penny and more. In three seasons alone in Edmonton, he’s racked up 117 goals, 97 assists and 214 points in 235 games played, with his goal and point totals far surpassing what he achieved in double the amount of time in Toronto.
The decision to sign in Edmonton expanded beyond just hockey, too.
“For me, for my wife, for our family, it was finding a place to live that we could grow a family, and Edmonton was that place,” Hyman said, adding “And then, selfishly, finding a place where I could win a Stanley Cup, because that’s my goal. That’s been my dream since I was a little kid, and my entire family is on board with that. That’s their dream, also.
“Edmonton was the perfect fit and every year it’s gotten better, and now we’re here in a position that when I signed, I hoped I’d be in an opportunity to play for the Stanley Cup.”
Hyman has been on a tear these playoffs, with his 14 goals in 18 games leading all scorers, sitting five back from tying the record of 19 for a single post-season. That’s a record shared between Reggie Leach (1975-76, 16 games played) and Jari Kurri (1984-85, 18 games played).
The Oilers winger will look to continue his closing of that gap with Game 1 of the Stanley Cup Finals kicking off Saturday night at 6 p.m. MST.

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 zach@thenationnetwork.com.

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