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Leafs send former first-rounder to AHL; fans react

october 14, 2019
Rasmus Sandin played well enough in the preseason to earn himself a spot on the Toronto Maple Leafs blueline to begin the regular season. Coach Mike Babcock, at the time, praised the 19-year-old's play, saying he had intentionally put him out in difficult situations to gauge his reaction, and he nailed it every time. Well, apparently the love affair is over, at least for now. The Leafs announced Monday Sandin has been sent to the Marlies of the AHL and the team has called up 27-year-old defenceman Kevin Gravel in his place.

There has been a swift reaction from Leafs fans on Twitter and it is almost unanimously negative. Some are pointing out that Sandin, a first round pick in 2018, has been playing an average of around 10 minutes per game in his first six with the Leafs, so sending him to the Marlies will mean more playing time, in all situations. Still many fans aren't happy with him being sent down, nor are they happy with Gravel being called up.









It is worth noting that with Zach Hyman and Travis Dermott soon to return from injury and Rasmus Sandin earning 900k at the NHL level, the call up of Gravel and the continued use of Justin Holl will save the Leafs some much needed cap space, which is at a premium for the club.

Regardless of the flak that the Leafs may take in the short term, the team appears to favor Sandin's development at this time. With an abundance of turnover expected on the blue line for the Buds next season, it's fair to assume that Sandin will get much longer look in 2020.

Sandin has two assists through his first six games in the NHL.
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