"Had literally no idea": Sandin denies he requested trade from Leafs

Mar 21 2023, 3:06 pm

Rasmus Sandin wants to set the record straight: he didn’t request a trade away from the Toronto Maple Leafs.

In a new one-on-one interview with Joshua Kloke from The Athletic, Sandin stated that he is making it his mission “to show Toronto that they did something wrong with trading me.”

On February 28, Sandin was dealt to the Washington Capitals in exchange for defenceman Erik Gustafsson and a first-round pick in the 2023 draft.

It was a shocking trade for many Leafs fans, with Toronto seemingly giving up on the 23-year-old defenceman just 140 games into his NHL career.

But Sandin was clear: it wasn’t his call. In fact, he was just as surprised as everyone else.

“I did not request a trade out of Toronto,” Sandin said to Kloke. “I had literally no idea I was getting traded.”

Sandin, the team’s 29th overall pick in the first round of the 2018 NHL Entry Draft, had spent parts of four seasons in Toronto. Signing a two-year, $1.4 million contract prior to this season, Sandin seemed like he was on the path to being a consistent member of the Leafs’ defensive group for years to come.

But his 17:59 average ice time ranked fifth on Toronto’s defensive group at the time of his trade, while he’s averaging 24:56 per night in eight games so far with the Capitals.

In Washington, it’s been an interesting start for Sandin, who has put up one goal and 10 assists in just eight games. But he’s had a bit of a struggle defensively adjusting to the higher minutes, being outscored 13-10 at 5v5, while he’s putting up an expected goals rate (xG%) of just 40.48%.

Gustafsson, meanwhile, has registered one assist in six games for the Leafs since the trade, while averaging 14:06 of ice time.

“In my mind, it was always about battling for a spot,” Sandin added of his time in Toronto. “They had such a deep defence core, which is a good thing because everyone is battling every single day for a spot in the lineup.”

The full Athletic article is available behind a paywall here.

Adam LaskarisAdam Laskaris

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