NHL Rumors: Maple Leafs Will Have Difficult Time Trading Veteran Defenceman

The Toronto Maple Leafs are at the salary cap and have had to do some work to their roster to remain under this season. It may have been easier on them if they were able to free up some money by making a trade. The player in particular who would have made the most sense and freed up the most cap is Jake Muzzin.

Darren Dreger reported that teams would've had interest in Muzzin if it weren't for his injury history. Those teams were right as the defenceman is once again on the injured reserve with a neck injury. He had no problems with his health for the first eight seasons of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, but as soon as he was traded to the Maple Leafs, injuries started to come.

Muzzin played just 53 games in 2019-20, missing 17 games because the season was cut a bit short. He missed just three games in the shortened 2020-21 season, followed by sitting out 35 games last season. Injuries have gotten to him once he hit 30 years old, and a cap hit of $5.625 million AAV isn't easy to move if that's the case.

Muzzin has one season left on his deal after this year and he hasn't had the best start to 2022-23. The Maple Leafs will still be looking to free up cap and a roster spot by trading a defenceman, but it will continue to be very difficult to find a taker for Muzzin.

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