NHL Rumors: The Toronto Maple Leafs and Jake Muzzin

TSN: Darren Dreger on TSN on the injury to Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Jake Muzzin and goaltender Matt Murray. What it may mean for the Leafs and how it could impact they what they are trying to do this season.

** NHLRumors.com transcription

“Yeah, well, it may have to because even though Toronto’s backend is better than Vancouver’s, we can all see that Toronto has some issues defensively as well. Not to drag you guys into that conversation which you’ve already had a 1,000 times to this point in the season.

But my understanding, Dubas has been looking for quite some time for an upgrade. The problem was, coming into the regular season, when you have $4 of cap space, you aren’t upgrading anything because you’re going to have to give pieces of value and based on how early it is too, what are you getting of value out there that is going to change your group? You’re not at this point as teams are still trying to figure out what they have. So, it’s an issue.

As long as Samsonov continues to play the way that Toronto needs him to play, I guess that takes a little ease off the goaltending scenario.

I’m worried for Jake Muzzin. More from the standpoint of just Jake Muzzin, who’s a young father and has a long life to live ahead of him. We’ve all witnessed first hand what is last years been like with the injuries.

That was flat out scary based on how he went down and the initial response. He’s been listed with a neck injury. Placed on injured reserve. They’re going to be super careful and not to be an alarmist, the only thing I was told, we should expect this to be a long, long time. So, whatever that means. Lets hope that’s not the case. You want the player to get healthy for the rest of his life, but if he can get healthy and play again then that’s going to bode well for the Leafs as well, but that’s not his top priority.”

Bryan Hayes: “That’s tough man. This is ultimately going to come back to Kyle Dubas. Conversations over the summer. A lot of people suggesting maybe you look to flip Muzzin because of the inury problems. You’re not sure if he can be available for you.”

Jeff O’Neil: “Who would have been interested in that?’

Hayes: “But that’s the issue. I mean, obviously that is understandable. I don’t know how many teams would be. But you also compound that and bring in Matt Murray, and Murray is the goaltending version of that. We’re a week into the season and we don’t know when both are going play. Dubas is gambling.”

Dreger: “Yeah. Just to interject there. Just to give you kind of a slice of my life. Around the trade deadline or, and more to the point in the offseason, because Toronto needed Jake Muzzin, hoping to go deep in the playoffs. All that stuff. Even though he went through what he went through last season with injuries.

A couple of teams called, or I called them, whatever, however the dynamic went down. You ask about a lot of players when you’re forming your strategies of an insider going into the offseason, maybe up to the draft, whatever. I lobbed Muzzin’s name out there privately to a handful of teams that I knew were in the market for defense. Loved the character of the man, would have absolutely, 100 percent interested if they thought that he was healthy and didn’t the miles on him that he .

He’s going to look back whenever his career ends and hopefully he still has time left, if that means he’s healthy. Man he played hard for a lot of years. Teams around the league recognize the battle wounds and scar tissue and were worried about it. So, I don’t think there was that much interest to be fair.”