The Toronto Maple Leafs have a few too many decent options on the left side of their blue line which hopefully doesn’t lead to a foolish trade.
It feels like it’d be a bad move by the Toronto Maple Leafs as no doubt Rasmus Sandin would break out the moment he leaves town.
This idea was first floated by Elliotte Friedman on the 32 Thoughts podcast, but it’s a bad one.
Sandin had a great season with the Leafs and is 22 years old, and almost certain to sign a team-friendly contract. Trading him is a terrible idea.
Surely the Toronto Maple Leafs Don’t Make the Move
The exact quote from Friedman seems far more like speculation than a rumour:
"He (Sandin) needs a new contract and Toronto doesn’t have a lot of space. I think that they like him as a player, I think he’s enjoyed being a Maple Leaf and I don’t believe he’s asked for a trade or anything like that but I’ve had a couple of people say to me, watch where this goes in terms of does Toronto feel they have to create room for him? Is he concerned about his spot and also is there a deal here that makes sense? – Elliotte Friedman"
You have to imagine that even the Toronto brass can see how foolish of a decision it would likely prove to trade away a 22 year-old defenseman that is only just cutting his teeth in the NHL.
Let’s not forget that Rasmus Sandin has already spent time on the Toronto Maple Leafs powerplay and has 28 points in his short 88 game career thus far.
Those sorts of defensemen don’t exactly come along everyday, certainly they’re not the easiest to find at free agency or in a trade, so drafting and developing one is the best route and the path the Toronto Maple Leafs should continue down.
Yes, it does mean sitting Jake Muzzin or Mark Giordano or alternately playing somebody on their off-side as to give Rasmus Sandin that little more ice-time, likely in Justin Holl’s spot in all reality.
Yes, it does mean finding a way to bring him back for a few more years, most likely on some sort of bridge contract and thus still with the risk of losing him long-term.
While Sandin isn’t a star yet, he certainly is a very talented individual and it feels like the Leafs shouldn’t be making any rash decisions on his future, when he is already one of the better bottom-pairing players in the NHL.
Sign him on an average kind of deal for the next two years, give Rasmus Sandin every chance to impress in Toronto colours and then let’s see where to go. Just don’t make some foolish trade because he wants a little more ice-time.
Right now, he has some of the best defensive mentors he could have; convince him that staying is the wise choice and that the likes of Muzzin, Brodie and Giordano; while they are blocking his path, are also full of wisdom.