Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas said Thursday he has not yet heard from Zach Hyman's agent, Todd Reynolds, regarding the reported possibility of a sign-and-trade with the Edmonton Oilers ahead of unrestricted free agency next week.

Dubas and the Maple Leafs previously gave Reynolds permission to speak with other NHL clubs to investigate trading his rights as the two sides have been unable to reach a deal.

"It was our intention going in to retain Zach's services. We have certain limits we can go to, and we have tried to extend ourselves the best we can," Dubas said Thursday. At this time, I have not heard from Todd [Reynolds] on today's news [of the Oilers closing on a deal with Hyman]."

"We’re open to anything that can help to make our team better, so if there’s fair value to be had there we’ll certainly explore it," Dubas added of the possibility of completing a sign-and-trade.

TSN Hockey Insider Darren Dreger reported earlier Thursday that seven years was the Oilers current target term with an average annual value that could be as high as $5.5 million for Hyman. Should the Oilers want to lower Hyman's AAV over an eight-year term, the Maple Leafs and Oilers would need to work out a sign-and-trade.

The 29-year-old scored 15 goals for 33 points and was a plus-19 in 43 games last season during the regular season. He is coming off a four-year, $9 million deal with the Leafs.

Hyman has 86 goals and 99 assists in 345 games with the Leafs during his six-year NHL career which began in the 2015-16 season. 

Expansion Plan

The Toronto Maple Leafs lost centre Jared McCann to the Seattle Kraken in the expansion draft just days after acquiring him from the Pittsburgh Penguins.

Dubas said the team considered protecting seven forwards and leaving a defenceman - likely Justin Holl - exposed after the trade, but ultimately decided to protect four defencemen instead.

"There was going to be the cost and whether we could replace the player we lost at that cap hit in the marketplace or via trade. It just didn't add up," Dubas said.

"We know what he's capable of, we know who he is as a person, we have a strong belief in him," Dubas said later of Holl. "He's signed for two more years. If he's gone...can we replace what he brings at that cap hit?"

Keeping the Core

Dubas once again dismissed the option of trading one of the Maple Leafs' core players on Thursday, stating he remains confident the group will break through after five straight opening-round playoff exits.

"For better or worse, I believe in this group, and I believe that they are going to get it done, and I believe that they're going to win," Dubas said. "I believe we're going to see the best version of this group, and I'm willing to bet everything on that."