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Leafs to lean on young defensemen amid Muzzin, Brodie injuries; could explore trade market per Dubas


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Ben Hodgson
November 14, 2022  (2:51 PM)
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As we all feared, it would appear as though we've seen the last of Jake Muzzin this season. The 2-time Stanley Cup champ suffered a cervical spinal injury just 4 games into the season this year and, despite the Leafs announcing that he will be re-evaluated in February, it looks like the 33-year-old may not play in the NHL again. As it should be, Muzzin's long-term health and his family are being prioritized over hockey. It's sad to see, but the Leas and Muzzin are doing the right thing here by putting hockey on the backburner until they know what his overall health situation is.

With Muzzin out, the Leafs are left with a hole on the left side that will need to be filled. To add to the problem, T.J. Brodie is now sidelined for 2 weeks with an oblique injury. That's 2 of the Leafs' best defensive blue liners out of the lineup. According to Kyle Dubas, the slack will need to be picked up by the Leafs younger defenders, Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren.
Both Sandin and Liljegren are experienced enough at the NHL level to be in the lineup every game. Now the challenge will be to see whether or not they can step up, elevate their game and fill the shoes of Brodie and Muzzin. It appears Dubas will use the next two weeks to evaluate and decide whether the cap space created by Muzzin's absence needs to be used on a defender or, if they work well in their expanded roles, he can use it to secure some help elsewhere in the lineup.
Dubas is not in a hurry to go shopping, but it would appear as though he'll be looking for opportunities that might be available to him in the trade market.
POLL
14 NOVEMBRE   |   7 ANSWERS
Leafs to lean on young defensemen amid Muzzin, Brodie injuries; could explore trade market per Dubas

Will Kyle Dubas have to trade for a defenseman to replace Muzzin in the top-4?

No, one of Sandin or Liljegren can handle it228.6 %
Yes, we need an experienced blueliner there571.4 %
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