The Boston Bruins could use another scoring winger, which makes Zach Hyman an interesting option for the Original Six club in NHL free agency.
The Toronto Maple Leafs left winger is able to become an unrestricted free agent when the market opens July 28. TSN's Darren Dreger reported earlier this week that the Leafs have granted Hyman's representatives permission to talk to other teams.
If it's clear the Leafs aren't going to re-sign him, they could trade his negotiating rights to a team with interest in working out a deal.
Kevin McGran of the Toronto Star reported an update on Hyman's situation Thursday:
"The Calgary Flames, Vancouver Canucks and Edmonton Oilers are believed to be the front-runners in the Hyman sweepstakes with the Pittsburgh Penguins, Florida Panthers, Boston Bruins and Detroit Red Wings also making inquiries with agent Todd Reynolds."
It's not known exactly what level of interest the Bruins have in Hyman.
If the B's re-sign Taylor Hall, it would be tough to envision them also adding Hyman, especially if the Leafs winger is looking for a seven- or eight-year contract. If Hall were to sign with a different team, then Hyman certainly would be an intriguing option for the Bruins to address their scoring depth issues.
Hyman is a good player, but his career high in goals for a single season is just 21, which he set in both the 2018-19 and 2019-20 campaigns. He's also benefitted from playing alongside Leafs superstar center Auston Matthews of late. He's never tallied more than 41 points in any of his six NHL seasons. A seven-year (or longer) deal for that kind of player just isn't good business.
If the Bruins are going to commit $5 million or more to a free agent or trade target it should be for a top-four defenseman. The B's need another middle-six forward who can score goals, but defensive depth/talent is a larger concern on this Boston roster, especially if Hall returns.