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NHL Insider Tosses Out Idea Maple Leafs Could Be Interested in J.T. Miller

A Jake Muzzin injury could clear room for a J.T. Miller trade to the Toronto Maple Leafs suggests insider Elliotte Friedman.

As per Elliotte Friedman, who noted on Sportsnet during the first intermission of the game between the Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets: “If Dubas is gonna be able to use his LTI space, I think that’s gonna make things really interesting for him. I’m on the J.T. Miller train.”

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While he might have some inside information others aren’t privy to, many believe this isn’t much more than Friedman spitballing ideas. It’s an interesting one considering the Leafs might be better served to go after a defenseman than a forward if they find themselves about to spend $5.5 million or so at this year’s trade deadline. So too, trading for Miller isn’t adding a rental. He’s got another year on his current deal and it would require the Maple Leafs to make moves in the offseason to retain a number of players, including finding a home for Muzzin who also has two seasons to finish on his contract.

Jake Muzzin injury could clear room for J.T. Miller trade to Toronto

There’s a lot that has to fall into place for this to happen. First, the Maple Leafs have to know that Muzzin isn’t coming back during the regular season. Only then can they move his salary off the books and get it back should he return for the playoffs without consequence or needing to clear space again. Second, the Canucks need to decide they’re ready to actually move Miller. There’s been a lot of talk about a trade, but lately, that talk is mostly about how the Canucks might not elect to move the forward.

Finally, the Maple Leafs need to have the assets to entice Vancouver to make this deal. Something like Alex Kerfoot, a 1st-round pick, a 2nd and another prospect is just a starting point for a forward with term who has 53 points in 50 games for the Canucks this season.

Would the Money Be Better Spent Elsewhere?

Adding Miller would be huge for any team, including the Maple Leafs. At the same time, is that the kind of player Toronto needs most? Without Muzzin — who granted, hasn’t been all that good this season — on the roster, Toronto is short a defenseman, and their depth is not great. They did just add Ilya Lyubushkin, but there’s an argument to be made that they could use a top-four and Muzzin’s money could help them acquire that.

Next: Oilers Being Linked to Dominik Kubalik in Trade Talks [Report]

5 Comments

5 Comments

  1. afp1961

    February 23, 2022 at 11:52 am

    Well it could be challenging with only a month left to the TDL but it is doable…..

    Dubas knows he has to ship out Kerfoot no later than the summer. The 2nd line is not working and I have seen this issue coming long ago. So to your point, if Kerf goes now thats 3.5M + Muzzin on LTIR thats 5.6M. You know one of Holl/Dermott is gone so thats at least 1.5M. Total equals = 10.6M. That is more than enough to bring in a JT Miller type and a 5M RHD like Risto or even Klingberg. If they are too expensive perhaps a DeMelo can be had for a 2nd, plus prospect.

    Ideally and for this I get creative, I’d go after Holtby Klingberg and Pavelski (50% retained) all out of Dallas. Give them Mrazek (3.8M & 2 yrs more term), plus Kerfoot (3.5m & 2 yrs more term), Holl (2m), a 1st and SDA. Dallas gets two NHL players who are cap controlled and a 1st and SDA.

    new look leafs

    2nd Line = Pavelski – Tavares – Nylander

    Defense
    Rielly – Brodie
    Muzzin – Klingberg
    Sandin – Lyubushkin
    Dermott – Lilygren

    Goalies
    Campbell – Holtby

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