VANCOUVER — The sight of Toronto Maple Leafs forward Zach Hyman lying on the ice in pain has his teammates worried about his status.
Hyman left Sunday’s game against the Vancouver Canucks with a knee injury in the second period and did not return. Toronto went on to lose 3-2 in overtime.
Hyman was injured on a knee-on-knee collision with Canucks defenceman Alex Edler.
“It was tough. He’s such a huge player for our team,” said William Nylander. “Hopefully he’ll be fine. It was a pretty dirty hit.
“He’s a leader on the ice and off the ice … The way he cares for other guys is incredible. He’s a huge part of this team.”
The collision happened 10 minutes into the second period when Edler took out Hyman right in front of the Leafs bench.
The left-winger dropped hard to the ice and stayed down for several minutes before the play ended and a trainer came to his aid. Hyman went directly to the locker room and did not return to the game.
“He’s a warrior, he kind of does it all for us every night,” said Toronto goaltender Jack Campbell. “He’s such a valuable guy on our team and in the dressing room. He works so hard every single night for our team, does everything he can to help us win. It’s obviously a huge loss every time he leaves the lineup.”
The Leafs’ bench vocally expressed their displeasure with the play and it was reviewed, with officials determining Edler had committed a knee-on-knee hit. He was handed a five-minute major and a game misconduct.
Canucks coach Travis Green said he didn’t think there was any ill intent in the hit.
“Eddie’s obviously a hard player,” said Green. “He’s not a dirty player. He doesn’t try to hurt players ever and I don’t think that was the case there.”
It’s not the first time Hyman has suffered a knee injury. The gritty forward injured his knee in the first round of the 2019 NHL playoffs and underwent surgery.
“We just hope he’s OK, such an integral part of our group,” said John Tavares. “The element he brings to our team, you can’t replace that. Hopefully it’s nothing too serious. He’s battled through so many things in my time being here, the competitor he is. He plays such a key role for us.”