In somewhat surprising move, Maple Leafs send down Rasmus Sandin

first_imgBabcock also noted that he wanted to look out for the young defenseman, especially after he got hit in the head in Saturday’s game against the Red Wings.Babcock on Sandin: “I didn’t like it last game when he got hit in the head … a (19)-yr-old, I didn’t have much appreciation for that … but I also say to myself, ‘What am I doing?’ … you have to look after him the best way you can & sometimes you got to be a prudent parent” https://t.co/CABYmmjIUq— Mark Masters (@markhmasters) October 14, 2019At the AHL level with Toronto, Sandin has impressed; in 44 games in 2018-19, the 5-11, 187-pound defender registered 28 points and a plus/minus rating of minus-10. He also added 10 points in 13 playoff games for the Marlies.In his place, the Leafs have called up defenseman Kevin Gravel, who has played in three AHL games with Toronto, going without a point while recording a plus/minus rating of minus-1. With 109 NHL games under his belt, the 6-4, 212-pound blueliner has more NHL experience and can be a bottom-pairing or extra defenseman for the Leafs moving forward. As per Sportsnet’s Chris Johnson, Sandin will likely not return to the NHL this season, pending no significant injuries. “We can’t get him on the power play in front of the guys we got, can’t get on the penalty kill. So in the end, a real good night (is just) 14 minutes,” Babcock told reporters on Monday, as per TSN’s Kristen Shilton.THE LINEUP: Oilers vs. Flyers highlights Week 3, Stamkos and Co. closing in on milestonesWith Travis Dermott eventually coming back into play after undergoing shoulder surgery in May, the Leafs had to make changes with a crowded battle on the bottom pairing. And at the end of the day, ending down Sandin was likely the logical answer. The 19-year-old isn’t getting much playing time, and can benefit from more ice time and responsibility — as well as a bigger role — at the AHL level. Maple Leafs fans didn’t necessarily see this move coming; defenseman Rasmus Sandin, the Leafs’ 2018 first-rounder who made the team out of training camp after an impressive preseason, was loaned to the AHL-affiliate Marlies on Monday after a six-game trial.Sandin, who is likely to develop into a top-4 and lead the next wave on the Leafs’ blue line, racked up two assists in six games. While he wasn’t necessarily playing terribly — and showed that he could keep up at the NHL level — coach Mike Babcock had different thoughts.last_img read more