Asinine take on Zach Hyman's achievements from hockey analyst

Andrew Berkshire claims the story behind Zach Hyman's 50-goal season is misleading, when really it's him who's not being honest about what it takes to succeed.

Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs
Edmonton Oilers v Toronto Maple Leafs / Claus Andersen/GettyImages

Hockey analyst and writer Andrew Berkshire is in the news, for comments he made on social media in respect of Zach Hyman. To say his opinions weren't greatly received, would be considered a significant understatement.

Berkshire starts by saying the sports media needs to do a better job of telling truthful stories, which on its own is actually a fair take. However, he almost immediately contradicts this, by not being entirely honest with his rationale behind Hyman's success in the NHL.

Berkshire essentially dismisses the notion that it only takes hard work for a player to make it. In the case of Hyman specifically, he says the winger's success was only possible, because he grew up 'insanely' rich.

The rationale is that having rich parents offered the 31-year-old opportunities most other people couldn't afford, giving him every advantage to make it in the NHL. Berkshire then goes on to add that these advantages include playing most of his professional career on lines with either Auston Matthews or Connor McDavid.

Hard work versus more opportunities

Even though Berkshire does acknowledge that Hyman did also work hard, even this is downplayed, with the comment that every NHL player who makes it works hard. He again reverts to no one else getting the same advantages as the Oilers' top liner.

The thing is though, hockey is expensive full stop. The majority of people who get involved in the game needs a certain amount of financial resources, even if it isn't to the same level as Hyman.

Plus, no amount of money is going to help you effectively 'buy' your way into the world of professional hockey. If you're not good enough, you just won't be drafted, and even then, you still need to have talent and work you ass off to last nine seasons in the NHL, like Hyman has.

The Toronto native is renowned for being one of the hardest workers in the NHL, as well as an excellent complimentary top six two-way player. Plus, do you really think the likes of Matthews and McDavid would put up with him playing on their respective lines for any extended period of time, if he wasn't good enough? (For that matter, this also extends to what the coaches would accept.)

A story of perseverance to become a top goal scorer

To further highlight Hyman's hard work, as well as his perseverance, it's taken a long time to get to the point he's at now. Consider that prior to arriving in Edmonton, the most goals he ever scored in a season was 21.

However, the 2010 fifth round draft pick has since seen his goal-scoring totals increase in each of his three seasons with the Oilers. From 27, to 36, to 51 in 2023-24, which is tied for the second-most in the NHL entering Thursday's slate of games.

Again though, being given the time to get to this point is as a result of hard work and perseverance, together with those in charge of the Leafs and then the Oilers liking what they see in Hyman. He's not being kept around and given more opportunities because his family is rich.

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Let's be clear in stating that all sports media personnel have bad takes at times, no matter how big or small they or the outlets they represent are. In this respect, Berkshire should have taken a bit more time to think about things, as well as a different approach in how he presented what he was trying to get across about Hyman.

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