Kyle Dubas was FORCED to trade Rasmus Sandin, Insider reveals why

Published March 1, 2023 at 9:47

Toronto Maple Leafs General Manager Kyle Dubas has had fans singing his praises the last two weeks and rightfully so. He has changed the Leafs into a much deeper team ready to take on the grind of the playoffs. Dubas went out an acquired Ryan O'Reilly, Noel Acciari, Jake McCabe, and Sam Lafferty.

With the addition of McCabe on the left side of the defensive parings for the remainder of this season and the next two, the writing was on the wall for disgruntled defenceman Rasmus Sandin's exit from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

On Tuesday, Sandin was pulled mid-practice and dealt to the suddenly retooling Washington Capitals in exchange for Erik Gustafsson and 1st round pick in the 2023 draft.

The 22 year old was drafted 29th overall in 2018. Sandin joined the Maple Leafs with high expectations. He seemed to meet them early on, progressing through the AHL and earning a debut in the NHL much earlier than many predicted.

In 52 games this season he has scored 4 goals and 20 points, while averaging 17:59 in ice time. His development seemed to stagnate over the past few seasons with injuries and inconsistency preventing him from developing into a true top four defender.

Dubas and Sandin's camp had a tumultuous negotiation that hit the public eye this summer, to the point where it caused Sandin to miss the beginning of training camp. Sandin felt he was worth more than the $1,400,000 per year salary he was offered and eventually took. This is the identical amount Timothy Liljegren signed for earlier in the summer.

Sandin took the hard road on negotiation and it ended up biting him in the butt. The hard negotiation left a sour taste in the organization's mouth. He wasn't able to elevate his play this year and was ultimately passed on the depth chart. This led to an eventual trade request from Sandin's camp, a bold move from a 3rd pairing defender.

I believe Sandin will be a good player in this league for a long time, but on this Leafs team he was expendable. Dubas probably envisioned another head ache of negotiations when Sandin's contract was up at the end of the 2023-2024 season. Dubas was able to turn his head ache into a first round pick that the team has been lacking from all the recent trade activity. Impressive work by the GM.
March 1   |   111 answers
Kyle Dubas was FORCED to trade Rasmus Sandin, Insider reveals why

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Top pairing defenceman, 1st PP1210.8 %
Top four defenceman, 2nd PP5852.3 %
Top six defenceman4136.9 %
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