Maple Leafs Jake Muzzin Makes Huge Decision For His Future

As the Toronto Maple Leafs opened camp on Media Day, the not-unexpected news that long-term injured defenceman Jake Muzzin would once again be out for the season was confirmed. His neck/spine injury was just too severe to continue playing. 

Now the veteran blueliner has made a huge career decision, as he has begun what is a transition to retirement by accepting a job as a pro scout for the Leafs while he remains on Long Term Injured Reserve for the year. 

Unable to play, Muzzin will now be contributing to the Leafs in two other ways this season: While on LTIR, his $5.625M cap hit comes off the books to give the team some huge cap relief, and he'll be helping behind the scenes in a new scouting role.

“He’s been wanting to contribute to the organization in any way he can,” Leafs head coach Sheldon Keefe said. “He wants to take advantage of each day... (he) wants to help us and figure out what’s next in life for him. It’s good to have him around and have his perspective.”

The 34-year-old has played 12 seasons in the NHL, the last 4½ in Toronto. Before that, he spent the first 8 years of his career with the Los Angeles Kings, and has a Stanley Cup to show for it.

The Leafs also made two other off-ice hirings on Monday. 

Former Maple Leafs goaltender Curtis McElhinney was named the team's new Director of Goaltending Development and Scouting, and Chris Bourque will be a college free agent scout. 

Photo: Sergei Belski-USA TODAY Sports