Jake Muzzin joined the Toronto Maple Leafs for practice for the first time on Thursday since being acquired earlier this week and skated on the left side of the team’s defensive pairing, with Morgan Rielly on the right in the team’s first drill.
Muzzin, who was traded to the Maple Leafs on Monday from the Los Angeles Kings, had been expected to pair with Rielly, though it was unclear after Monday’s trade which left-shot defenceman would play on their off-side.
Rielly, who finished second in Norris Trophy voting in the Professional Hockey Writers Association’s mid-season awards released last week, has spent the season to date on the left-side of the Leafs top pairing. Ron Hainsey, Rielly’s partner for the past two seasons, dropped to the third-pairing in practice on Thursday and again played on the right beside Travis Dermott.
Jake Gardiner, who missed the team’s final two-games before the All-Star break, was back on the team’s second pair with the Leafs right-hand shot Nikita Zaitsev.