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Morgan Rielly, who scored the winner, saw the scrap the same way.
“It was awesome,” Rielly said. “That’s what Wayne brings to this group. He has been doing that in his career for a long time. It’s incredibly valuable. We’re lucky to have him.”
No surprise, but Zach Hyman didn’t sulk when he learned he would be starting on the Leafs’ third line to begin the season. No phone call to his agent wondering why he was not with Auston Matthews or John Tavares, no complaining, just the response you would expect: Nose to the grindstone, and do all he can to make the line work.
It’s a significant year for Hyman, to say the least, considering his impending status as an unrestricted free agent once the off-season hits.
“I think people make a huge deal out of a contract year, and it’s a big year, but for me, it’s always about the team and what can I do to help the team win,” Hyman said. “That is where my head is at. I have not really thought about the contract too much. Toronto is a place I love and would love to be, but I’m just focusing on this year and focusing on the team and that stuff usually gets sorted out pretty quickly afterward.”
There have been no recent talks between the Leafs and Hyman’s agent, Todd Reynolds.
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The Leafs will be involved in a multi-episode docuseries called All or Nothing: Toronto Maple Leafs, which will give fans a behind-the-scenes look at the club as it makes its way through the abbreviated regular season.