The Toronto Maple Leafs have inked one of their key defencemen on trade deadline day.
Shortly after the deadline officially passed, the Leafs announced that they had re-signed Jake Muzzin to a four-year contract extension worth $22.5 million. The 31-year-old, who has skated in 52 contests this season, will make an average of $5.625 million per year.
Buzzing for four more years!
Jake Muzzin has signed a four-year extension. #LeafsForever
— Toronto Maple Leafs (@MapleLeafs) February 24, 2020
Muzzin was acquired by Toronto last January in a major trade with the Los Angeles Kings, handing over Carl Grundstrom, the rights to unsigned draft choice Sean Durzi, and the organization’s 2019 first-round draft pick.
The 6-foot-3, 213-pound blueliner has 251 points (61-190-251) in 578 regular-season NHL games. He was also a key piece in the Kings’ last Stanley Cup victory in 2014.
Muzzin’s extension comes at a slightly higher price point compared to his existing $4-million contract, which seems like a reasonable price to pay for his strong hockey sense and great positional play. He also logs more than 20 minutes of ice time on most given nights.
The signing comes after the Leafs failed to find the right return for Tyson Barrie, their offensively-gifted defenceman.
TSN’s Bob McKenzie stated that the organization was looking for a first-round pick or a prospect in return for Barrie, who hasn’t been the strongest fit in Toronto. The British Columbia native is in the last year of a $5.5 million contract, half of which was retrained by the Colorado Avalanche in a trade last summer.