The Toronto Maple Leafs have announced that they have acquired defender Jake Muzzin from the Los Angeles Kings, in exchange for their first-round pick, forward prospect Carl Grundstrom, and defense prospect Sean Durzi.
In short, Dubas has made a significant upgrade to the Leafs without touching the current roster.
“(Contending) is something we’re aiming to do year in and year out,” Dubas said. “Our preference was always to add players who are going to be here for more than just a few months and that was one of the things that was appealing about Jake.
“He is still in his prime and we are happy to know he is going to be here for at least the next year and a half and two runs at the spring.
The expectation is that Leafs coach Mike Babcock will put Muzzin, a left-handed shot, on the top pairing with Morgan Rielly and move Ron Hainsey to the third pair with Travis Dermott. If that’s what happens, Igor Ozhiganov, who would not have to be placed on waivers to be sent to the Toronto Marlies, would be the odd man out.
“As for which side of the ice (Muzzin) is going to play, we are going to have a player or two that is going to have to play their off side, and talked it over with Mike, and that’s more of a discussion we will have with all of our players once we all get back from the break,” Dubas said. “(We’ll) find what might be the best fit to have everybody play to their best potential.”
Muzzin, is the top-end, two-way, D Toronto has needed for a while now.
“That’s why we play, is to get to the playoffs and having a chance to win the Stanley Cup,” Muzzin said. “I was fortunate enough early in my career to have that opportunity and be brought in on a good team and thrown into the fire. The last few years has been a battle and a struggle, and I’m definitely excited to have another crack at it.”
With a move like this the Maple Leafs certainly are now in the Stanley Cup Conversation for real.