[Leafs Links] Mike Futa in Jake Muzzin: "Very sneaky with your body contact"; Bob McKenzie in Auston Matthews Contract Negotiations: Real progress being made, most likely a five- or six-year deal


Toronto center Maple Leafs Auston Matthews, left, checks with defender Morgan Rielly before a clash during the second period of the NHL hockey game against the Colorado Avalanche on Friday, December 29, 2017 in Denver. (AP Photo / David Zalubowski)

Mike Futa, General Manager of Kings, discusses the deal with the Toronto Maple Leafs and what the Leafs are gaining in Jake Muzzin, Bobby Mac speculates on Auston Matthews' deal negotiations and more reaction to the Muzzin trade on today's links.

Links Leafs

Futa: Muzzin is a good hockey player and a heart-and-soul kid (TSN1050)
Los Angeles Kings assistant general manager Mike Futa joined Overdrive to discuss the Leafs trade and what Toronto is getting in Jake Muzzin.

On Rob Blake's comments, Jake Muzzin has been the most consistent king of the season:

He's been so good. Blakie preached. To be fair, it's kind of a two-edged sword for a player, because when a player is not playing hard, it's hard to get value when you're trying to recompile. I think Jake's game exactly dictated his value in the market. Rob set a price and Jake was excellent. I think it actually worked the other way for him. The caliber of the child will also be a huge factor because he is just a very special person and he works hard. Your teammates absolutely love you. I do not think he's anyone who's going to … I mean, the Toronto media is going to be a bit different for him, because he's a private guy, but his teammates love him.

As a player, he has been a power guy. If you look at his highlights, he is very sneaky with his body contact. On the left wall he caused some very good damage to some guys recently with the physical game. He is an excellent killer of penalties and is a boy of heart and soul. To be honest, I think playing with Drew for those years, in fact, was an exceptional match. It was almost like a team of coaches where they were so confident with the Muzz that he could make his own pair and they broke the two. We succeeded with that.

Jake is a good hockey player who is a better person. Being a hometown kid, he was very emotional last night. I know Blakie called him. Every time you have won with a child and he has become part of your family, it is a very difficult thing. I made that call and we were very emotional as a group. And then, of course, I asked him for free tickets like any good Leafs fan. But he's a great guy who will fit in well.

It's such a good hockey team that they set up there. He does not have to come in and be everything. He just has to be Jake Muzzin and play inside himself and he'll be fine.

In trade and in what the Leafs have built versus the stage where kings are in their rebuilding:

The Leafs identified what they needed and identified what we needed. Mike Babcock chose Jake as one of Team Canada's top seven defenders, right? And he did not play. It was really hard when Jake came back because it did not matter. Your pride … You are the best player in the world. You have to convince someone that: "Hey, you were the eighth or seventh best defender in the world. It was not like you were a healthy scratch in a beer alloy or something. These are some really good guys. "I think Jake will really benefit now in Toronto with the media spotlight, understanding what it was all about and being close to the caliber of the players and being close to Mike.

Of course, Kyle was familiar with him. They did a job. My job is not to identify what the Leafs need. We did an outstanding job with our scouting team talking about moving forward and how excited we are at the players who are coming. I think that's why these deals take so long. There are players that the Leafs are more comfortable giving up and players that we are more comfortable to acquire. I'm sure there were other teams involved at some point, but it became clear that Toronto would be the option.

Yesterday, Rob did an incredible job of just putting it all together and getting what we feel makes the Kings keep moving forward. We expect Durzi and Grundstrom to be great parts of our future. Obviously, where are the Leafs, the first round is not going to be a top, top pick and we're not expecting it to be, but we have to make sure we have our ducks in a row. Right now, we have two choices in the first round and Rob has set the tone with which we are going with the organization. I do not think things like this need to be taken – if you do your job with your development and your Scouting – forever.

You look at that team that everyone is bragging in Toronto – and rightly so – Mark Hunter and Lou Lamoriello … Shanny started hiring him and Hunter to put it all together with Kyle and you saw the culture change, but it was through the draft. Matthews and Marner and these guys – this central group, and Nylander – they were drafters and now they're recruited as Toronto Maple Leafs and I think we need some of that flow with some of our younger guys being recruited. That's where you get your best skill, it's through the sketch, and you make the right path and develop it. We have to get back to that. We have good young players coming in and we feel like we've added some cool new parts to the Leafs business.

Bob McKenzie talks to Jake Muzzin, Auston Matthews and Artemi Panarin (TSN1050)
Bobby Mac joined Overdrive late Tuesday to discuss the acquisition of Muzzin and Matthews' deal negotiations.

In the Leafs, acquiring the piece they needed in defense:

He did this without giving up the list of players, which was important. Let's say you want Brett Pesce from Carolina; he has a more attractive contract. Muzzin is only a year away from UFA, which helps isolate if Gardiner walks out the door for at least a year. But if you have a certain chance, like Pesce – who has many years of contract in a friendly number – this would cost Johnsson or Kapanen for sure and maybe more.

In the latest on the Matthews negotiations:

All that Kyle Dubas said is "healthy dialogue." Auston Matthews's agents probably said less than that. No one wants to mess up something with a malicious comment here or there, so we're left to read between the lines a little and dig here and there. I have the strong impression that real progress is being made and that there is a legitimate chance – though not a guarantee – that this can be done before the end of the operation.

Now Dubas in that interview, when the Leafs had the day off and he spoke, said that this would be the best situation, to get a deal before the deadline and this would allow you to better understand financial commitments are to some degree. There is still Marner to do, but that would be a big out of the way. I think that's what everyone wants to try, but it's an important business.

I think there's a chance this can be done as soon as possible, I think they've come out of … It's much, much, much less likely now that it's going to be a seven- or eight-year deal. I think the problem with an eight-year deal, although I think Matthews initially wanted an eight-year contract, is that the number would be so great. All of these agents with players like this work with limit percentage, and if you use Connor McDavid's percentage of caps at the time he signed versus the value of the cap this year, you're probably looking at more than $ 13 million per year Auston Matthews. This starts to make the cookie jar a little too full for everyone else. Now, I think it's much more likely to be a five-year agreement or a six-year agreement and the numbers would fall properly.

Tavares is making $ 11.5 million. I do not think the Leafs have a salary cap inside John Tavares, but if possible, you guys want guys in the universe. So maybe $ 11.5 million of $ 500,000 to either side, depending on the deadline or the numbers, is what you could speculate. But there is still work to be done. This is not done, but the signature structure and bonuses and how they will break the exact AAV continues to be seen.

The most important thing is that when they picked up John Tavares, that changed the momentum. If Tavares was not here, in my opinion, I bet Matthews would get an eight-year contract for about $ 13-13.5 million, but because Tavares is here and he got $ 11.5 million, and also because he here's the age he's here, plus the way the Leafs played this year, the timing is not just now, but you look at this window like, "Let's maximize the window in this next five-year period." year contract for Matthews or a six-year agreement, you're doing it.

The only thing you can not do, in my opinion, is to give Marner and Matthews exactly the same term, because you do not want this situation to happen again. You want to stagger one way or another. But that's just me talking. I'm not Kyle Dubas.

Jake Muzzin: The Player, Trade Value and Fit (MLHS)
Anthony Petrielli provides a detailed analysis on the new Leaf and its adjustment in programming.

Dubas in Muzzin: "The key is his ability to play against the best players" (MLHS)
Kyle Dubas makes it clear that the extra year in office was instrumental in beautifying the Leafs' futures to add a significant part to the blue line.

Supporting the Defense (Bill Comeau)
A good Bill's perspective on how Muzzin positions himself statistically and the needs he fills in the Leafs defense core.

It will be difficult to leave Jake Muzzin (Crown Jewels)
Kings fans' perspective on the loss of Jake Muzzin: "Muzzin won the title of defender # 2 during the Playoffs of the Stanley Cup in 2014 and never left him."

A deep look at how Jake Muzzin fits with the Leafs (Sportsnet)
Andrew Berkshire looks at how Muzzin may have benefited from Drew Doughty. The conclusion: "Muzzin played the vast majority of his minutes in the 5-on-5 with Doughty, but this has not been the case for a long time now – four years in fact. Meanwhile, Muzzin still has the same level of success he had with Doughty. "

Muzzin is the right pickup for the Leafs, but he can play on the right side? (Toronto Sun)
Former Kings manager Darryl Sutter said he never played the right side with him in Los Angeles but that he formed the "second best team in the league" alongside Alec Martinez with Martinez on the right and Muzzin on the left.


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