According to reports, there is a growing belief that the Toronto Maple Leafs have already negotiated a new contract extension with Jake Muzzin.
The 30-year-old blueliner is an impending unrestricted free agent this summer, one of three defencemen on the team that could be lost for nothing, while Travis Dermott is also a restricted free agent after this season.
The length of the rumoured deal, as well as the annual cap hit, appear to work fairly favourably for the Leafs, who have relied heavily on LTIR relief in order to fit their roster within the confines of mthe current salary cap.
Muzzin has been a reliable performer on the team’s blueline since arriving in a trade in January 2019, which saw prospects Sean Durzi, Carl Grundstrom and Toronto’s first-round pick in last year’s draft head to the LA Kings in return.
He has been an exceptional physical presence since arriving in Canada’s largest city, throwing 105 hits while also putting in strong defensive performances, blocking 100 shots while averaging 21:40 in ice time.
Of the impending free agent defencemen on the Leafs’ roster, Muzzin appears to be generally viewed as the strongest and the one that most fans would like to see return.
Having Muzzin return in 2020/21 would help the Leafs have a solid foundation to a defensive corps that will hopefully see the likes of Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren make a permanent move up into the NHL.
While the deal isn’t likely to be announced until after March 1st, due to salary cap constraints, it is positive to hear that a deal is effectively locked up, giving the Toronto Maple Leafs a bit more security ahead of what will be a truly interesting off-season.
What do you think Leafs fans? Would you be happy to see Muzzin come back at that cost? Which other defencemen would you like to see the Leafs bring back? Let us know your thoughts in the comments below!