The Maple Leafs Made A Trade…

It’s been forever since we’ve had to do one of these, but the Toronto Maple Leafs pulled the trigger on a deal yesterday so, let’s go around and see what the MSM had to say…

Luke Fox at Sportsnet:

“We won’t know for certain if the Toronto Maple Leafs rookie general manager’s first major trade since assuming the helm from Lou Lamoriello is a home run until the ball falls, but one couldn’t blame the 33-year-old if he did a bat flip after flossing in his executive suite Monday night.”

Michael Traikos at the Toronto Sun has moved all the chips over to the coach:

“The focus for the Maple Leafs is inwards. After acquiring John Tavares in the summer, re-signing William Nylander in December and trading for Muzzin, Dubas has made all the moves he needed to make. Now it’s time for head coach Mike Babcock to make his.”

Steve Simmons checked in on Muzzin’s former coach for a little clarity on the player’s ability to play the “wrong” side:

“Anybody who says he’s played the right side isn’t watching the games. He’s played zero times on the right side in L.A. I know they’re looking for the perfect guy to pair with (Morgan) Rielly. He might be that guy, but maybe Rielly has to switch to the other side.”

Remember Dave Feschuk?:

“In other words: This is a deal that ought to overjoy both Maple Leafs fans and their top defenceman. Though Rielly would never complain, playing the past couple of seasons alongside the 37-year-old Hainsey hasn’t been ideal for Toronto’s top rearguard. Hainsey, for all his Stanley Cup-winning experience with the 2017 Penguins and all his tireless service, doesn’t skate well enough to be the kind of puck-moving playmaker a top-pairing role demands. His glass-and-out style will be far more palatable seen in smaller doses down the depth chart.”

Kevin McGran has his abacus out, do you ?:

“That means the Leafs really don’t have room to add another significant player this season. They might be able to create room. Igor Ozhiganov ($925,000) can be optioned to the Marlies, a likely choice.”

David Shoalts, who promises to turn the lights out when he heads off to do standup chimes in:

“It was a brilliant move since it gives the Leafs the veteran top-pair defenceman they need at a price they can easily fit under the salary cap and without sacrificing a player from their NHL roster. On top of that, Dubas managed to land Muzzin, considered one of the top prizes in the league’s annual trading frenzy, one month before the Feb. 25 trade deadline. This gives him more time to adjust to both the Leafs system and his new partner, Morgan Rielly.”

Kristen Shilton over at TSN with a look at the residual effects:

“With the shakeup, rookie Igor Ozhiganov projects to be the odd-man out on the blueline, joining Martin Marincin and Justin Holl as extra defenders. With winger Tyler Ennis on injured reserve nursing a broken ankle, the Leafs can carry all three of their defencemen now, but once Ennis is back, they will have to either send Ozhiganov to the American Hockey League’s Toronto Marlies or waive one of either Marincin or Holl.”

James Mirtle checks in with a take:

“This Leafs blueline certainly now more resembles Dubas hockey: skate quick, carry the puck, move it up the ice fast and maintain possession. They finally boast a top pair where both D can play big minutes, against good players, and do all four.

Muzzin is elite at exiting the zone and controlling play. Between 2015-16 and last season, he ranked fifth in possession (55.4 percent) and 11th in scoring-chance share (55.0 percent) among all defencemen with at least 1,000 minutes played at 5-on-5.”

As does his colleague Craig Custance:

“You can play him against fast people, you can play him against heavy people. It’ll be a matchup opportunity,” he said. “I don’t think he’ll be a power play guy for them with the way they operate the power play. But he’s got enough skill to be a PP guy. He can, for sure, kill penalties and understands all that. He can skate.”

The view from LA??

“Two words kept coming up when Kings general manager Rob Blake spoke after the first step of an expected overhaul of the team:

The future.

Blake and the Kings knew they would have to transition their nucleus out, and the trade Monday of defenseman Jake Muzzin to the Toronto Maple Leafs was their first significant move ahead of the Feb. 25 trade deadline.”

Ken Campbell over at the Hockey News with a small dose of cold water to all you happy Leafs fans:

“But Muzzin ended up playing only one game in that tournament, a 4-1 win over Team Europe in the last game of the round-robin. Aside from that, he was on the outside looking in, being bag skated after practice and having little impact on Canada’s championship squad. Those close to the Kings say that put Muzzin into a funk that took him quite a while from which to emerge. The coach of that Canadian team was none other than Mike Babcock, who is now his boss in Toronto.”

Carol Schram from Forbes:

“On Monday, the Toronto Maple Leafs took a long-anticipated step toward making their roster more playoff-ready when general manager Kyle Dubas acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings in exchange for a first-round pick in 2019 and prospects Carl Grundstrom and Sean Durzi.”

and… Chris Johnston at Sportsnet with an industry review…

“Monday’s news still came as a major shock to the system.

Four weeks out from the deadline, and in the middle of the Kings’ CBA-mandated bye period, Muzzin was blindsided by the deal that sent him to the Toronto Maple Leafs.”

There, that wasn’t so bad…

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