Kings Send Muzzin to Maple Leafs

by | Jan 28, 2019 | News, NHL, Rumors | 25 comments

The Los Angeles Kings trade defenseman Jake Muzzin to the Toronto Maple Leafs in exchange for left wing Carl Gundstrom, the rights to unsigned prospect Sean Durzi, and the Leafs first-round pick in the 2019 NHL Draft. 

Los Angeles Kings ship defenseman Jake Muzzin to the Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo via NHL Images)

SPECTOR’S NOTE: The Kings appear to be getting an early start on their rebuild while the Leafs pick up an experienced top-four defenseman.

Muzzin, 29, is a skilled all-around defenseman whose performance in 2018-19 was among the few bright spots in an otherwise miserable campaign for the once-mighty Kings. He’s tallied 21 points in 50 games thus far this season, has three 40-plus point seasons on his resume and won a Stanley Cup with the Kings in 2014.

The Leafs need depth on the right side of their blueline but Muzzin is a left-shot defenseman who plays on the left side. Perhaps they’ll shift him to the right side or move another left-side rearguard over to the right.

Muzzin is signed through 2019-20 with an affordable $4 million salary-cap hit. His acquisition suggests the Leafs don’t intend to re-sign Jake Gardiner, who’s due to become an unrestricted free agent in July.

Don’t expect to see Grundstrom or Durzi skating with the Kings this season. Both could be part of the club’s long-term plans.

Grundstrom, 21, played with the Leafs AHL affiliate and will likely report to the Kings’ farm team. Scouting reports suggest he has potential as a versatile two-way forward with a good work ethic who can skate on either wing. Durzi, 20, is a defenseman with the OHL’s Guelph Storm who was selected by the Leafs in the second round of the 2018 draft. He’s considered a mobile blueliner.

As for the first-round pick, it could end up in the bottom third of that round, depending upon where the Leafs finish in the standings. The Kings could keep that selection or use it as a trade chip to bring in more immediate help.  


  1. Wow I thought Muzzin would command more than two suspects and a number one. Leafs lucked out with this trade. Early as well which is also excellent for any subsequent moves.
    Good job I must say.

  2. A good trade by Toronto. As much as I like Grundstrom’s game, he wasn’t going be anything more then a 3rd line winger for TO. Durzi is an unknown but there is no reason to think he was going to be a top 4 D. The first round pick was the only component of value… plus he’s a good replacement for Gardiner if he isn’t re-signed. We still need another though.

  3. Great deal, Dubas. I like Grundstrom but he wasn’t going to be a top 6 player. Durzi is an unknown. Only thing lost of value is the 1st pick but we have a very deep talent pool and good D on the way so this pick was a great trade tool. Not to mention great insurance if Gardiner can’t be re-signed.

    • I surmise getting Muzzin was in anticipation of not resigning Gardner due to the assumed price tag. Smart move.

      I tend to think they might make another move for bottom 6th depth and another defensive upgrade.

  4. Well it’s no Radko Gudas but I guess he’ll do

    • And oddly enough he didn’t cost Nylander

    • Shticky don’t be so sarcastic. Dubas did right making this move and now he needs to go after Gudas to pair Muzzin/Gudas… I would even go after McQuaid. I think Dubas can flip Brown for McQuaid and Zaitsev/Kadri for Gudas/Simmonds Kadri need to be included in the deal for Phila to take on Zaitsev’s contract. Since nobody will take Nylander’s contract I would use Nylander as third line center replacing Kadri.
      I would then pursue anyone of Reaves, Ferland, Martin, Maroon or similar type of player. TO instantly becomes grittier and physically challenging for opposing teams. Also I might add that these moves will make Matthews and Marner even Tavares play with more SASS. With these new additions, Gardiner should be traded for prospect or draft picks whatever the maximum value he can fetch. I then promote Just Holl to play alongside Dermott. Our D-CORE will look like this:


      Hainsey for draft pick
      Gardiner for whatever

      Oshiganov/Marancin/Rosen as reserves at the backend.

      All these moves will BALANCE the team in every aspect. Skill Grit Age no more young kids running around, now you have MEN with the kids.



      • Kadri is here for this playoff run. He could be moved in the summer for cap reasons.

      • What a load of garbage that d corps is McQuaid is gonna play 20 mins a night huh? No kids but let play Dermott with Holl and send away a 50 point D and a vet that’s better than the guy you have playing as a 2? Boy oh boy this is so bad lol

  5. Leafs could have made this trade better from their perspective. All TO had to do was force LA to take Grundstrom, Duzi, a first round … AND GARDINER. Jake is a wonderful figure skater, who masquerades as a defenceman and in doing so, sucks the very life blood out of the Leafs. Moreover, here’s the bonus: LA is just barely far enough away from TO to avoid the stink whenever he plays.

    • Ditto

    • Gardiner is a +17. That’s 23rd best in the league.
      Maybe they need more figure skaters.
      I ashamed of the lack of intelligence and understanding among fellow Leafs fans.

      • The guy is on a super short leash (with fans) since that game 7 – not exactly fair to him but I get it, nightmares of game 7(s) vs Boston continue to haunt us.
        I get your point though, no need to move Gardiner at all but resigning him is no longer an option.

      • But Gardiner has cost the team points in the standings , COL and FLA being some recent examples. In the case of last season, his mistakes put the Leafs directly on the golf course. When your mistakes are doing THAT, it really doesn’t matter if he has 20,000 points, or a +/- of 7500….it really doesn’t.

  6. Hey shticky
    Do u like Gudas better than Muzzin
    I was hoping for Gudas, I was blindsided by the Muzzin trade .
    I didn’t see it coming

    I am in favour ..
    Another defender , some grit, I am not sold on Sparks ..

    Leafs are all of a sudden , a drastically changed team, if they can put these extra pieces together ..
    In which , I think they will will ..
    Dubas hit early , and will strike again , by the looks of things !!
    Good for Dubas !!
    More important – Leaf fans are away overdue !!!

    • Sarcasm

  7. It’s too bad that the Leafs had to trade Durzi as I think he has great potential. However, getting a top four D without having to give up anyone on the roster was good move.

    I think Hainsey will do better as a third pairing D where he’d face players he can out think and out play, rather than having him hinder Reilly’s potential. Hoping they put Muzzin with Reilly.

  8. Good deal for both sides.
    Leafs need 1 more defensive defenseman and a rugged bottom 6 and they’re pretty much set.
    Kings are picking up solid prospects and decent picks. Sound decision making by Blake.
    Wonder what Don has cooking for a response?

  9. I think a 1st (even if it will be a bottom half) for Muzzin with two prospects is steep. Other GM’s with D-men to dangle will be licking their chops now that Dubas and Blake have kinda set the market’s expectations. Muzzin isn’t a true rental and can help offset the loss (?? if you want to call it that…lol) of Gardiner after this year but I still don’t like trading 1sts…

  10. Spector, does this open a potential trade of Gardner to a western conference team before the deadline? That why I don’t think Toronto is done trading, Phoenix or Carolina might be willing to trade a young right handed defenseman for scoring. Edmonton could use Gardner and Brown for this year’s # 1. Just a thought.

    • I doubt it unless they’re moving him for a right-side right-shot defenseman. They’ll likely keep Gardiner for the rest of the season and part company via free agency.

  11. Dubas took Blake to the cleaners. Think LA could have gotten way more for Muzzin. Couple of average prospects and a “low” first round choice.

  12. Seems like a good move by the leafs to me. They gave up nothing on their roster added a pretty darn good d. Have plenty of time to assess its affectiveness, still have young forwards to peddle if it is deemed muzzin isnt working or isnt enough.

    Come playoff time depth is key. Gotta balance it out vs terms. Toronto is in win now mode. Will be for a few years. Nice move. Perhaps it won’t be the last before the trade deadline.

    As for LA. Toronto was likely the only one offering a 1rst round as other defensmen where garnering interest. Toronto may be an 1rst round exit so as far as trading with playoff teams willing tk peddle 1rst rohnd picks it isnt a bad gamble.

  13. Good deal for Leafs in every way and the price was reasonable for both sides…the Kinds need to get younger quickly and the Leafs got solid and dependable d. NOw move Hainsey to pair three, so pairs would be Rielly/Muss, Gardiner/Ozi,Dermott/RH
    Not sure about other trades unless it is a real no brainer. The good news is that Muzzin is good and the team is not disrupted except that it [pushed down the spare d-men..Holl and others won’t get much of a look except maybe to spell for RH or injury. I would keep Gardiner, Kadri, and others for fear of changing things too much, unless between now and the 25th the wheels fall off once again. I still want a better back up, for example, if we could find one. Maybe a deal with Wings for Howard and give up some prospects? Or Brown and Gauthier?

  14. Let’s be honest here. Toronto’s spare parts are ineffective trade chips on their own: Gauthier, Ennis, Lindholm, Marincin,Holl,

    No one would want any of these people.

    Gardiner and Zaitsev have value in a flip for draft picks and then use the draft picks to package with prospects (Bracco,Moore,Linjegren) and expendables such as Brown to get another top four d from a non-contending team.

    A three way swap or multiple deals that are strategically planned.