NHL Rumours: Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumours for Defence Starting

Regrettably, Jake Muzzin has once again been placed on long-term injured reserve (LTIR) by the Toronto Maple Leafs. This time, Muzzin has suffered a cervical spine injury, which will take months to heal in a best-case scenario. This likely means Muzzin will miss the entire regular season. This has led to Toronto Maple Leafs Trade rumours starting as they will look for defensive help.

Maple Leafs Trade Rumours: Muzzin Replacement Coming?

Per Frank Seravalli of the Daily Faceoff, Toronto’s general manager Kyle Dubas will look to the likes of Rasmus Sandin and Timothy Liljegren to take advantage of the open spot in the roster.

However, as Seravalli has written, Toronto does seem to have acknowledged more experienced reinforcements are needed, especially if they plan on going on a Stanley Cup run.

Who Could the Leafs Trade For?

Within his piece, Seravalli has named the top eligible candidates; John Klingberg (Anaheim Ducks), Vladislav Gavrikov (Columbus Blue Jackets), Matt Roy (Los Angeles Kings), Carson Soucy (Seattle Kraken), Nick Jensen and Dmitry Orlov (both Washington Capitals).

Almost all have their upside, so let’s see who would be the best option.

Of those suggested, Roy seems like an unlikely asset to trade for. He is the only player who would not be a rental and arguably, Sandin and Liljegren provide the same level of play. In all likelihood, Roy would not be an improvement on the team as is, nor a suitable replacement for Muzzin.

Soucy is a useful defenceman, an all-rounder who does not carry a huge cap hit. This makes him the perfect choice to be a rental. However, the Kraken is surprisingly in the mix for a Pacific playoff spot and may wish to hold on to him until at least the deadline. Waiting until then could prove to be too late for the Leafs.

Metro Candidates

In an ideal world, the Capitals will not want to lose either Jensen or Orlov. Both are an essential part of the Caps’ blueline, but it may be a necessity in the summer. Jensen and Orlov’s respective styles would fit Toronto’s defence, so one could be shipped to Ontario.

Jensen has a smaller cap hit than his teammate and is producing slightly better this season. However, if the Leafs are looking long-term they may wish to pursue Stanley Cup playoff experience as a priority. Along with a ring, Orlov has plenty of experience to offer.

Gavrikov is an interesting option for the Leafs. A tough defensive defenceman, he would provide the grit that Toronto has lost with Muzzin heading to LTIR. He likely would also be willing to explore spending time with a contender, considering the catastrophe that is the Blue Jackets’ season. However, with Zach Werenski out for the season, Columbus could be unwilling to part with another top defenceman.


Finally, we move to Klingberg. A high-scoring, strong defenceman with playoff experience, the Swede would be suited to the Leafs from the get-go. Currently playing for the rebuilding Ducks, they could retain salary if asked. Unfortunately for Toronto, the cost will be the Leafs’ first-rounder in a deep draft and then some. However, if the trade works out it could be more than worth it, especially if Klingberg were to re-sign.