As he gets his mind back to playing hockey this week, Zach Hyman’s thoughts aren’t far from what has been occurring on a global scale. Read MoreLeafs’ Hyman speaks on racial equality, getting back on the ice following Masterton nod — Toronto Sun
Leafs’ Hyman speaks on racial equality, getting back on the ice following Masterton nod
Published:June 9, 2020
Updated:June 9, 2020 5:40 PM EDT
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- TORONTO MAPLE LEAFSZach Hyman is Maple Leafs’ Masterton Trophy nominee
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- NHLEx-Leaf Fraser puts call to hockey to stay strong in support of racial equality
As he gets his mind back to playing hockey this week, Zach Hyman’s thoughts aren’t far from what has been occurring on a global scale.
The Maple Leafs winger, announced on Tuesday as the club’s nominee for the 2019-20 Bill Masterton Memorial Trophy, said during a conference call with media that the increased demands for racial equality since the death of George Floyd two weeks ago have given him cause for contemplation.
“It’s something I have been thinking about for a pretty long time and I haven’t made a social media post because I want to make sure I get my thoughts out correctly,” Hyman said. “Personally, I don’t know what it feels like to be judged based on your colour, but I do know what it feels like to be judged based on your religion.
“I am Jewish, I have experienced anti-semitism, so I can empathize. For me, it’s pretty clear that racism and any type of judgment based on your race, religion or gender, is not tolerant.
“In hockey, especially in today’s world, we are making strides to try to make (equality and inclusivity) more of a possibility. I got married (last year), I’m planning to have kids, you want your kids to grow up in a better world than you grew up in. Hopefully, everyone can work together. I think you are seeing that, people educating themselves.”
There’s no argument — Hyman is deserving as the Leafs’ nominee, as voted by the Toronto chapter of the Professional Hockey Writers Association, for the Masterton, which recognizes the NHL player who best exemplifies the qualities of perseverance, sportsmanship and dedication to hockey.
Hyman, who turned 28 on Tuesday, regularly has been the Leafs’ hardest worker since making his NHL debut in 2015-16, and he took that up a few notches last season after making his his debut on Nov. 13 in New York against the Islanders following a recovery from off-season knee surgery.
Hyman didn’t miss another game before the NHL was paused on March 12 because of the COVID-19 pandemic and he tied his career high with 21 goals in 51 games. Had Hyman and the Leafs played their final 12 games, the Toronto native undoubtedly would have hit a career high in points, as he had 37, four shy of his personal best, when the season was halt