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Elliotte Friedman believes the Leafs are quietly working to extend an important piece

Mike Armenti   ·   27 janvier 2020
With only Morgan Rielly, Justin Holl, Rasmus Sandin and utility man Martin Marincin under contract through next season, I think we can all agree that the Toronto Maple Leafs have some work to do to help solidify the back end for 2020-21.

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Travis Dermott is still a controllable asset, who will likely be bridged at a lower dollar while the two sides figure out where his place is within the team's future plans. Tyson Barrie will likely command a figure in excess of $7.5M-$8M on a long term deal, which may be too rich for Toronto's blood, given the team's current cap situation. That leaves Cody Ceci and Jake Muzzin.

While Ceci is likely to become an unrestricted free agent in the summer, Muzzin has gone on record in saying that he would "love to stay" in Toronto.

Sportsnet NHL Insider Elliotte Friedman had a chance to speak with Tim Micallef and Sid Seixeiro of Tim & Sid this past week, and though he could not say for certain that the Leafs are in the process of negotiating an extension with the Muzzin camp, he does believe that where there's smoke, there's fire.

“I think they are trying to see if they can sign Muzzin,” Friedman said. “I can’t prove it — nobody is going to talk to me about it — but there is enough smoke out there that leads me to believe the two sides are taking a run at this and seeing if they can find common ground. It won’t be easy, but I think they are trying.”

Signing Muzzin does seem like the best option for the Leafs at this point, given the number of boxes he checks off for the club, but only if the price and the term are just right for the team as the current perception is that they overpaid of their top three guys, which has caused a bit of a cap crunch.

Though no dollars have been tossed around in the rumour mill, it has been speculated that Toronto would prefer a 3-5 year deal, but is not comfortable with a 6+ year deal, for obvious reasons, as Muzzin is on the wrong side of 30. While he may be effective now, you also don't want to be paying a 37-year-old $6M+.



If the Leafs can lock Muzzin in at, let's say, $5.5M over four seasons, knowing that he wants to stay, that might be a deal that everyone could live with. For now, all we can do is speculate.

We'll have more on this as it continues to unfold.

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QUIZ ON TRADERUMOURS
image
Name this director of several American films.
MARTIN SCORSESE
OLIVER STONE
STEVE SPIELBERG
WOODY ALLEN
SURVEY
Which scenario would you prefer if the NHL season restart?
END OF REGULAR SEASON + PLAYOFFS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH 16 TEAMS
IMMEDIATELY PLAYOFFS WITH MORE TEAMS
IT'S BETTER TO CANCEL THE SEASON