Should the Toronto Maple Leafs Fear the Offer Sheet?

SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Kyle Dubas Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs talks on the phone as President Brendan Shanahan looks on during the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB
SUNRISE, FL - JUNE 26: Kyle Dubas Assistant General Manager of the Toronto Maple Leafs talks on the phone as President Brendan Shanahan looks on during the first round of the 2015 NHL Draft at BB /

Should the Toronto Maple Leafs fear the offer sheet?

NHL free agency is just around the corner and the Toronto Maple Leafs still have plenty of questions surrounding their own free agents.

It had been recently reported that contract extension talks with Rasmus Sandin haven’t gone as smoothly as Dubas and Co. might have expected.

The Toronto Maple Leafs perhaps thought that they could get a similar deal with Sandin as the Timothy Liljgren deal – two years $2.8 million – but Sandin’s camp has other ideas. Whether it is about the money, about the term or about his role on the team, an agreement has not been made and the free agency deadline is looming.

After July 13th, any team can issue an offer sheet to Sandin, and according to some reports there is interest around the league.

It wouldn’t take a very high offer to Sandin to take the Leafs out of the running. Anything north of $3 million AAV would likely force the Maple Leafs to at least consider letting Sandin walk, and their only compensation? A second round pick. ( per capfriendly ).

This is something that Dubas absolutely cannot let happen, but realistically, offer sheets are so rare, and there are so many more higher profile pending RFAs, that the Leafs really don’t have anything to worry about.

At least they likely don’t, but just in case they do…

Potential Trade Partners for the Toronto Maple Leafs

The Canucks

The Vancouver Canucks have some of their own notable free agents to worry about signing next season in J.T. Miller and Bo Horvat.

Of course Vancouver would prefer to keep both players but unless the cap jumps to $90 million next season that just won’t be possible. A trade involving Rasmus Sandin going to Vancouver and the Maple Leafs getting either J.T. Miller or Conor Garland back could work out for both teams.

Obviously J.T. Miller would command a slightly bigger haul, possibly throwing Kerfoot into the deal and maybe a draft pick or two could help make the deal happen. Garland shouldn’t command much more in a trade, but with Kerfoot already signed to a cheaper deal, this likely isn’t the best play if the Leafs were forced to move Sandin.

J.T. Miller brings a similar grittiness with more high end skill.

Miller’s contract only has one more season left on it though and would likely be too high of a price tag to keep him past this season.

Washington Capitals

The Washington Capitals have two RFAs that they have yet to sign extensions with and both RFAs could give the Leafs exactly what they need.

Goaltenders Ilya Samsonov and Vitek Vanecek are Washington’s young duo that have played fairly well in their short careers. Samsonov has garnered a career GAA of 2.81 and a save percentage of .902 while Vanecek has managed a career GAA of 2.68 and a save percentage of .908. (stats hockey

These numbers don’t blow you away but the  Leafs do not need top tier goaltending to succeed. Last season the Leafs ranked 27thin team save percentage and still managed to finish with franchise records in wins and points.

League average goaltending would be more than enough to guide the  Leafs to the promised land and Samsonov or Vanecek can supply that at a reasonable price. The Capitals have been reportedly seeking a veteran goaltender on the market and have a young promising goaltender in Fucale, leading me to believe they will be looking to trade one or both of Samsonov and Vanecek

Next. Are the Blackhawks Going to Help the Leafs?. dark

. If so, the  Leafs need to be on the phone with Washington immediately and trading for their goaltender of the future.