The Leafs have four options for an injury-riddled Jake Muzzin this summer

Published April 16, 2022 at 8:17 PM
BY JOSHUA MALLAIS
Jake Muzzin has had a nightmare season from an injury perspective and, once again, the Leafs' stalwart defender has found himself battling injury. Muzzin has played only 45 games due primarily to a pair of concussions. While his current injury has nothing to do with his concussions, it is becoming apparent that the Leafs' management has a decision to make in regards to Muzzin and the 2 remaining years of his contract, which carries a $5.625 million cap hit.

Option 1: A buyout

A buyout in the summer would possess a cap-hit of $4.291 million for the first two years of the buyout. In the 2024-25 season the cap hit will drop to $666k against the cap. This would not offer the Leafs' much relief against the cap, and result in some dead cap space that would muddy the Leafs' cap situation for the next two years.

Option 2: "Robidas Island" aka LTIR


Stashing Muzzin on Robidas Island would serve to allow the Leafs to go over the cap by Muzzin's $5.625 million. That requires them to operate as close to the cap as possible (which has seemingly become normal operating procedure around the league). However, they would still need to fit him under the cap on opening night before he could be placed on LTIR for the year.

Option 3: A trade

The Leafs could potentially trade an injured Muzzin to a team like Arizona that needs to hit the cap floor. The Leafs have been known to insure their contracts against injury, something we learned from the David Clarkson trade a while back. They likely wouldn't get much of anything back, and may require that they take some bad money contracts or send a draft pick/prospect in return. Muzzin also has trade protection that he would need to waive before the Leafs can make a move.

Option 4: Keep him and hope for the best

The Leafs could simply keep Muzzin and hope that he returns to form with a full summer of rest and recovery. Muzzin at his finest competed with Morgan Rielly for the title of Leafs' best defender. However, given his recent injury history, this may be a long shot. Muzzin has suffered multiple concussions and mobility-limiting injuries over the last few years and has shown signs of decline.

Jake Muzzin has been a true warrior for the Leafs since his acquisition from the LA Kings. But the question has to be asked with the coming cap crunch for the Leafs. Is Muzzin's time in Toronto to an end? It seems like it may be.
Latest 10 stories
LEADERS
GPGAPTS
1-  NIKITA KUCHEROV
613866104
2-  NATHAN MACKINNON
613664100
3-  CONNOR MCDAVID
55227294
4-  DAVID PASTRNAK
61384987
5-  WILLIAM NYLANDER
59325082
6-  ARTEMI PANARIN
60354782
7-  J.T. MILLER
62305282
8-  AUSTON MATTHEWS
58532578
9-  MIKKO RANTANEN
61314677
10-  ELIAS PETTERSSON
62294675
2023-2024 LEADERS  
FOLLOW US
facebookinstagram
253 580 followers