A lot of praise was sent towards Toronto Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas and the organization for pulling off an impressive trade when they acquired defenseman Jake Muzzin from Los Angeles for a what’s likely to be a late first-rounder and two above average prospects. The move didn’t take away any players off their current roster and only made them better.
However, Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun writes that Mike Babcock may not be integrating Muzzin properly so far. The 29-year-old averaged 21:32 of ice time in 50 games with the Kings. However, his ATOI is quite a bit less in Toronto with Babcock playing him just 18:37. The team has no intention of moving Morgan Rielly away from the left-side, but the team might be better off moving Muzzin to the right side and allowing him to play alongside Rielly. At the moment, Muzzin is playing on the second defensive unit. Regardless, the team needs to find a way of increasing Muzzin’s minutes.
- Peter Wallner of MLive.com writes that the hottest player currently on the Grand Rapids Griffins of the AHL is 2018 first-rounder Filip Zadina, who scored an overtime goal Saturday to pick up his fourth goal in four games. The 19-year-old winger who naturally struggled early on when he arrived in the AHL, seems to have found his stride. He has seven points in his last eight games and has had a plus-six rating, a big improvement considering he had a minus-16 rating previous to the run. He now has 15 goals and 29 points in 43 games. While there is no word on whether the team might bring him to Detroit at some point, with the team currently struggling, a recall is potentially possible, although the team might be wary of allowing him to play more than 10 games this year and burning that first year of his entry-level deal.
- NHL.com’s Mike Morreale reports that Buffalo Sabres defenseman Marco Scandella is injured once again and did not go with the team on their current road trip, although he could rejoin them. Head coach Phil Housley said that Scandella will be evaluated for an undisclosed injury. “Being evaluated by doctors and we’ll know more hopefully when we get down to Florida,” said Housley. It’s very likely the team will place him on injured reserve until he is ready to return.
- TSN 1200 reported that the Ottawa Senators activated Jack Rodewald from injured reserve Saturday and have already assigned the 25-year-old forward to Belleville of the AHL. Rodewald was injured in a game against Anaheim on Feb. 7 with a lower-body injury and was expected to miss two weeks. He had played in six games with Ottawa, but had failed to record a point. The team also activated forward Mikkel Boedker from a mid-body injury.