When defenseman Jake Muzzin landed on long-term injured reserve earlier in the week, speculation ramped up that the Toronto Maple Leafs could make an unexpected big splash at the Trade Deadline with some added salary cap flexibility. However, Sportsnet’s Elliotte Friedman reported on yesterday’s edition of 32 Thoughts that Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas is telling teams around the league that if Muzzin “is healthy enough to return before the end of the regular season, they’re not going to hold him out until the playoffs.” That’s to say that the team isn’t operating under the assumption that they’ll have the full $4.47MM in deadline cap space that CapFriendly suggests. While the team is still in a position to add a solid depth piece, or even a higher-end middle-six forward with some salary retention, any chance of Toronto being among the deadline’s biggest buyers is likely gone at this point.
Some more hockey notes on this Sunday:
- The Edmonton Oilers will be without both forwards Ryan Nugent-Hopkins and Kailer Yamamoto for today’s game against the Carolina Hurricanes. Defenseman Philip Broberg continues to draw into the lineup as they’ll again ice 11 forwards and seven defensemen. Nugent-Hopkins and Yamamoto are both likely out with short-term injuries, both suffered during yesterday’s game in Sunrise against the Florida Panthers. Colton Sceviour and Brendan Perlini, who both have just five points on the year, will get opportunities to draw into the lineup as Edmonton’s two extra forwards.
- TSN’s Darren Dreger reports that the IIHF is likely to make “significant decisions” surrounding the participation of Russia in future international hockey events during a council meeting tomorrow, beginning first and foremost with the upcoming Men’s World Championships in Finland, scheduled to take place in the middle of May. The report comes just as news broke that the Switzerland hockey governing body has requested additional sanctions placed on both the Russian and Belarussian hockey programs. Those additional sanctions include removing Russia as the host of the upcoming 2023 IIHF Men’s World Junior Championship and 2023 IIHF Men’s World Championship, as well as the immediate exclusion of Russia and Belarus as member federations of the IIHF as the country’s invasion of Ukraine continues.