As expected, the Toronto Maple Leafs have reached an agreement on a contract extension with Jake Muzzin.
The Maple Leafs announced a new four-year agreement with the left-shot defenseman mere moments after Monday’s trade deadline passed. He will earn $5.625 million on an annual basis through the life of the agreement, which takes him through the 2023-24 campaign.
TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the deal is heavily front-loaded, which works to maximize the insurance built into the deal for the 31-year-old.
Muzzin has proved to be an incredibly important piece on the blue line since his acquisition from the Los Angeles Kings roughly 13 months ago. He’s logging almost 22 minutes of ice time each night this season, which is tops among players on the active roster. Muzzin’s also chipped in offensively with five goals and 22 points.
Lumping in last season’s games, Muzzin has now dressed 82 times in a Maple Leafs sweater and, in difficult minutes, delivered a positive impact at virtually every measurable level. Most notably, he’s a 53.5 percent possession player, and the Leafs own 54.5 percent of total scoring chances while he’s patrolling the blue line.
From an intangible standpoint, he’s also emerged as the conscious of the team, leading with his words in the locker room and in front of the media.
Signing a player through age 35, there is certainly risk involved. But to this point Muzzin has shown no signs of slowing down, and the consequence of losing him through free agency surely exceeds the potential ramifications down the road.
For more on the future with Muzzin, click here.
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