The, Toronto Maple Leafs should probably try to trade Jake Muzzin.
After the Toronto Maple Leafs lost again in the First Round, rumors have been flying about them changing their roster. With that being said, Jake Muzzin’s name has been at the top of the list of rumors.
And there’s one reason why.
Muzzin currently makes $5.625M and has two years left on his deal. Although he has a No-Trade-Clause, if the Leafs had a deal at the finish-line, you’d think Muzzin would waive his no-trade, to return to a place where he previously won two Stanley Cup’s.
Muzzin is such an interesting player.
When the team originally acquired him, many fans thought he was a missing piece to help this team get over the hump. Bringing in a player with a winning pedigree was supposed to inject winning into the locker room and eventually help Toronto find success, but instead, he’s been injury-prone and the Leafs have yet to win a playoff round.
When Muzzin has been in the line-up, he’s done everything you’d hoped he would. He was physical and played “playoff hockey” the way it should be played, but as previously mentioned, the team still hasn’t won.
As such, with such a large cap-hit, they may want to ship his contract out to find someone new.
Toronto Maple Leafs Should Send Muzzin to LA
Muzzin is 33-years-old, and although that’s not too old in the real world, it’s old in professional sports after the amount of injuries he’s sustained. With a $5.625M cap-hit, that’s a large amount of money to hope stays healthy.
Mike Augello of HockeyBuzz.com mentioned an interesting rumor that doesn’t involve a Jake Muzzin straight-up trade, but instead gets William Nylander involved. If Nylander was part of a trade package with Muzzin, not only would it clear even more cap-space for Toronto, but it would make their return even better.
Some of the players that Augello talked about were the following:
Quinton Byfield, Brandt Clarke, Alex Turcotte, Rasmus Kupari,, Arthur Kaliyev and Tyler Madden.
All six of those players are young, but they have serious potential. Although they may not be able to step into the line-up immediately, they’re on Entry Level Contracts and that could bring huge value to the Leafs.
If one of those young players hit and can perform in the top-six or top-four defensive-core, that would be like hitting the lotto for Toronto because they could end up using all of the cap-space from Nylander and Muzzin’s contract and go big-game hunting in free agency, while also having a young player out-perform thier contract.
It’s kind of like what they’re doing with Rasmus Sandin, Timothy Liljegren and potentially Nick Robertson. On the open-market, all three of those players could fetch a ton of money, but since they are Entry Level Contracts, they provide a ton of value for Toronto.
Whether it’s Claude Giroux, Kris Letang, Evgeni Malkin or Marc-Andre Fleury, by trading Muzzin and/or Nylander, it could open up a ton of flexibility for Toronto to improve their roster.
Regardless of the rumors, this offseason is set to be crazy.