Thursday’s edition of Daily Faceoff Live featured a jam-packed Ice Breakers segment, in which Frank Seravalli talked about how the Toronto Maple Leafs can replace Jake Muzzin and why the San Jose Sharks might not be able to get a huge return in a trade for Timo Meier.
Ellis: “The Leafs have a little bit of salary cap flexibility with Jake Muzzin expected to be on the Long-Term Injured Reserve for the rest of the season. How active do you think they’ll be in replacing him?”
Seravalli: “I think they’ll be active. We’ve seen Kyle Dubas slow-play it to this point, saying ‘we’re going to give plenty of opportunities to Rasmus Sundin and Timothy Liljegren.’ That makes sense, of course, but I think longer-term, other managers around the league view this Leafs team as being a piece away on defense.
I wrote a story earlier this week on Daily Faceoff that looks at six potential fits for the Leafs on their backend, and I want to point this out because I think it’s important to look at the ideal scenario for Toronto.
Ideally, after going through what they went through with Nick Foligno, the Leafs would rather not trade for a rental. But take a look at this list. They might have to because the defense market is really thin. We heard Ottawa Senators general manager Pierre Dorion at the GM meetings saying ‘it’s really hard to trade for defense in this league.’ Out of the six guys on the list, five of them are pending unrestricted free agents.
The guy who stands out for me the most is John Klingberg. I think the Leafs have an opportunity to jump the market, get someone from Anaheim where the Ducks have already struggled, he was clearly brought in with the idea that he would be a potential flippable asset.