As a result of the damage sustained by Jake Muzzin to his cervical spine, the Toronto Maple Leafs may find themselves more actively involved in the market for an NHL defenseman.

Due to an injury to his cervical spine, defenseman Jake Muzzin will be out of action for an indeterminate period of time, which is a huge setback for the Toronto Maple Leafs.

His condition will be reassessed in February, but in the meanwhile, his absence is casting doubt on whether or not they will seek assistance from the trade market.

General Manager Kyle Dubas has said to the press that he will look to younger defensemen like Timothy Liljegren and Rasmus Sandin to step up before he considers making any trades. If the general manager of the Maple Leafs does go shopping, he might not find many good options for shutting down the opposing team’s defense.

According to Jeff Marek of Sportsnet, two potential candidates are John Klingberg and Kevin Shattenkirk. Elliotte Friedman, one of his colleagues, is of the opinion that the Maple Leafs do not require defenseman of the Anaheim Ducks’ caliber. Friedman also mentioned the rumors that the Maple Leafs were interested in Jakob Chychrun, but he expressed concern about Chychrun’s injury history and the high asking price that the Arizona Coyotes had.

The author Jonas Siegel of The Athletic pondered whether or not pending unrestricted free agents such as Dmitry Orlov of the Washington Capitals, Artem Zub of the Ottawa Senators, or Scott Mayfield of the New York Islanders could become potential trade candidates. Due to the fact that the standings are still fluid at this point in the season, it is highly doubtful that they will be available.

In the event that those defensemen do become available for trade, it is highly unlikely that it will take place until the weeks building up to the trade deadline on March 3. That might come too late to be of any use to the Maple Leafs.

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