I mean, I’ve never seen Zach Hyman and Wolverine in the same room, so maybe there are some legs to this hypothesis! The reason the question comes to mind is that after only four months since his ACL surgery, Hyman is back on the ice.
Sportsnet confirmed that Zach Hyman was playing on a torn ACL due to an injury he picked up in the playoff series with the Boston Bruins. It was reported on the 25th of April that Hyman would undergo surgery to repair the torn ACL on the 29th. This crazy fast healing and progression from his surgery is certainly Wolverine-like, to say the least.
Fast forward a mere four months later, and Zach Hyman is back on the ice in a miraculous time scale. Yes, every injury is different and the degree of the tear could impact rehab time, but this is a pretty phenomenal time table for the truculent winger.
Early estimations had Hyman returning to the team in November by the earliest, with more modest guesses placing him back around Christmas. TSN’s Kristen Shilton reported that Hyman was on the ice with Maple Leafs skating consultant Barb Underhill on August 27th which certainly is causing some recanting of any previously provided timelines.
No one would be happier to have Hyman back than his coach, Mike Babcock. If Babs could trade every other forward for a carbon copy of Hyman I don’t think he’d hesitate to do it. His work ethic outweighs his size or skill and often creates opportunities for him or his linemates, so it’s understandable… to a degree.
Hyman’s injury status leaves John Tavares a center to a winger-less crew with Mitch Marner’s contract removing his right-winger, too. That being said, I honestly don’t believe Marner will miss a minute of the regular season and Hyman will be back before Christmas for sure.
The Leafs padded their lineup with cheap, experienced players to give the team forward depth. The likes of Kenny Agostino, Ilya Mikheyev, Wilson Garrett, Trevor Moore, Nic Petan, are all players who can fill Hyman’s spot while he is still rehabbing. This gives him and the Leafs time to push back the reinsertion date and stick to medical timetables, not emotional ones.
It’s nice to have a positive story coming out of Leaf Land before the season starts, and that is exactly what this is. Hopefully, he’ll shave in some mutton chops and continue the full transformation into Wolverine this year!