The Toronto Maple Leafs Wouldn’t Claim Rasmus Ristolainen on Waivers

TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 30: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres slips a puck past Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on November 30, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Sabres 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images)
TORONTO, ON - NOVEMBER 30: Rasmus Ristolainen #55 of the Buffalo Sabres slips a puck past Frederik Andersen #31 of the Toronto Maple Leafs during an NHL game at Scotiabank Arena on November 30, 2019 in Toronto, Ontario, Canada. The Maple Leafs defeated the Sabres 2-1 in overtime. (Photo by Claus Andersen/Getty Images) /
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The Toronto Maple Leafs are not going to trade for Rasmus Ristolainen.

The Toronto Maple Leafs might do many surprising things.  They might do things that we didn’t foresee or predict.

But there is one thing I can 100% guarantee they won’t be doing.

Now, or ever.

And that is trade for Rasmus Ristolainen.

They wouldn’t even claim him on waivers if he was available for free.

Toronto Maple Leafs Trade Rumours

Ristolainen has two more years after this one on a contract with a $5.4 million dollar cap hit.

Considering that the Leafs could just use Timothy Liljegren (also right handed) for the league minimum, or considering that they could re-sign both Cody Ceci and Tyson Barrie to deals that cost less than this, there is just no way the Leafs are interested in this deal.

This has to be the single worst trade proposal I’ve ever seen.  The Leafs are in win-now mode, so trading an elite forward on one of the NHL’s best contracts for a prospect and a replacement player is – to put it mildly – a horrible idea.

Add in the fact that Ristolainen has one of the league’s worst contracts, and this idea is pure insanity.

Few players illustrate the difference between reputation and real analysis like Rasmus Ristolainen.

Because he is a high draft pick, scores 40 points per year and is 6’4 220, Ristolainen has all three markers of an overrated player – scoring, pedigree, and size.

In his entire seven year career, Ristolainen has never been a positive puck possession player.  This right here disqualifies him from the Toronto Maple Leafs, since their main strategy and philosophy is all about puck possession.

In seven seasons, the Sabres have never finished the year with a positive differential in shots or goals while he was on the ice. (Naturalstattrick.com).

They have never finished with a positive scoring chance or expected goal percentage.  Not once.  In seven years.

At 5v5, when Ristolainen has played, his team has lost with amazing consistency

His @jfresh player card is hilarious.  It shows that despite a contract worth almost $6 million, he is only worth $20 K.   It shows that he provides negative value (i.e he makes his team worse) on offense, defense, and both special teams.

He had a negative impact and cost his team wins in both of the last two year, and this year was worse than all but 10% of defenseman.

So to sum up: let’s end these rumours.

Next. Leafs Should Definitely Not Make Rumored Trade. dark

The Toronto Maple Leafs will not be interested in Rasmus Ristolainen under any circumstances.  They won’t trade for him.  They especially won’t trade William Nylander for him (or anyone).

The end.