NHL Rumor Mill – September 10, 2022

by | Sep 10, 2022 | Rumors | 17 comments

A look at the latest Leafs speculation as training camp approaches in today’s NHL Rumor Mill.

THE ATHLETIC: Jonas Siegel wondered when the Toronto Maple Leafs and Rasmus Sandin will finally reach an agreement on a new contract. The 22-year-old defenseman is a restricted free agent lacking arbitration rights, giving him little leverage except to not report to training camp.

Missing playing time could put Sandin at risk of falling behind his teammates. Siegel suggests the young blueliner accept a one-year deal that would provide him with arbitration rights next summer or a two-year deal similar to the one Timothy Liljegren signed in June with an average annual value of $1.4 million.

Toronto Maple Leafs defenseman Rasmus Sandin (NHL Images).

SPECTOR’S NOTE: It’ll be interesting to see how the Sandin camp handles this. Missing training camp (and preseason play) almost always hampered a player’s performance upon his return to the lineup.

The Leafs are currently over the $82.5 million salary cap for the coming season by roughly $1.5 million. General manager Kyle Dubas could be forced to make a significant cost-cutting move to accommodate whatever Sandin is seeking. Taking the one-year deal and garnering arbitration rights next summer would give the young blueliner the leverage to secure better terms on his next contract.

Siegel also noted the Leafs wouldn’t necessarily have to do anything to get under the cap until Sandin signs. They could ice a 20-man roster to start the season if need be. He acknowledged that defenseman Justin Holl has surfaced as a trade candidate but doesn’t see the sense in trading him while Sandin remains unsigned. Dubas could also place Holl on waivers but there’s the risk of losing him to another club for nothing.

The Leafs signing Zach Aston-Reese to a professional tryout offer also caught Siegel’s eye. Among the reasons could be to provide options in case they want to move a forward such as Alex Kerfoot, though he doesn’t see Aston-Reese as an improvement over Kerfoot.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Kerfoot carries an AAV of $3.5 million and he’s slated to become an unrestricted free agent next summer. Moving him would put them under the cap by $2 million, providing sufficient wiggle room to ink Sandin.

However, the Toronto Sun’s Terry Koshan is skeptical about a Kerfoot trade. “If Dubas had true designs on moving Kerfoot, you would think it would’ve happened by now.”

SPORTSNET: In a recent mailbag segment, Luke Fox was asked about what it might cost for the Leafs to acquire Patrick Kane from the Chicago Blackhawks.

The reader wanted to know if “2 firsts, Sandin and Robertson” might get it done. Fox considered that a load to surrender for a playoff rental. He suggested “a first-round pick, a mid-round pick, a quality prospect, and a roster player.”

SPECTOR’S NOTE: That’s assuming Kane waives his full no-movement clause to go to Toronto. And Dubas convinces the Blackhawks to retain half of Kane’s $10.5 million salary-cap hit. And he finds a third team willing to help him divide the remaining $5.25 million in half to squeeze the winger within the Leafs’ limited cap payroll. Provided, of course, Dubas outbids other clubs for Kane’s services.

Let’s revisit this at the 2023 trade deadline and see if it works out.


  1. If the leafs make it past the first round of the playoffs, maybe then, will I give a s**t.
    I’m no longer interested in hearing the slag, jokes, humiliation and of course…UNbiased takes on this once proud(before my time) original six team.

    They are in the same realm as the Detroit Lions, NY Knicks, Buffalo Bills(that could change this year), etc, etc.

    On a positive note…today I am 8 years off the darts.
    Cheers fellas !

    • Great achievement, FD.
      Good for you.

    • FD, being from Detroit, certainly not a Leafs fan. You can’t compare the Lions to the Leafs. At least the Leafs actually win games and make the playoffs. The Lions have only made the playoffs very few times since their last title when they won the NFL Championship in 1957. Leafs are much further ahead than the Lions and will probably make at least the Cup Final before the Lions can ever get to the Super Bowl.

  2. Patrick Kane rumours to Leafs “Lingering ??”
    Sandin not signed ??

    On a positive note – Ottawa vs Toronto on a double header -September 24 at 1:00 and 8:00 in Toronto

    Meet u there George
    I will dig up some ringside seats

  3. Sandin is a 7 anyway. He will be fighting with Benn and Mete for even a roster spot. If it were me I would not miss camp. I think 1.4 is reasonable . Is it the player or management not getting this done ?
    Holl and Kerfoot package should get you something with a little cap to spare but it might take awhile – 10 games in ?

    • @SilverSeven

      I would think trading Kerfoot would be very easy if that’s what Dubas wanted to do?He’s a reliable player that can play centre or wing. He had 51pts last year getting almost no power play time. While his cap hit is $3.5M his base salary is only $750K

      If Kerfoot is traded the question becomes who is the replacement at 2LW? My guess is they either try Engvall there or Jarnkrok? Although a 3rd line of Engvall, Kampf, and Jarnkrok might be a great shutdown line?

  4. Robertson could land a top 6 role and a roster spot is his to lose. We will find out soon enough

    • @SilverSeven

      I’m not sure Keefe has the appetite to put a rookie on a line with Tavares and Nylander? They struggled defensively last season. However, putting Robertson on the 4th line doesn’t make sense either.

      Training camp will be interesting…

  5. Patrick Kane to the leafs is about as likely as the Bruins making the playoffs, meaning? They ain’t got a snowballs chance in Hell.

    • Friendly wager, Rick?

      • You win, I’ll buy you a cup of George’s fav. Java Tim Hortons reg. If I win same. Every team with exception of the habs have improved Buffalo I believe will be fighting with Sens for the last playoff spot.. sens will take that.

        3Leafs ( If they kept Campbell would have been 2

        Zacha I think at worst will be the same Huala at best a bit better.He’s not going to the next young David Krecji and especially the next Bergeron. Too many what ifs.

        Swayman has to play better, can he?
        Bergy’s getting on
        David will improve the team slightly
        Hampus has yet to show me why we gave up so much for him. He is the second best d on the team just not that good.
        And here’s another reason the biggest one, FOLIGNO!! ever watched the show “walking dead?” They are actually quicker than he is.
        Bury him in the minors not the ahl the echl.
        Trent Frederick another first round bust along the ranks of a Zach Senysyn.

  6. Sandin is a quality prospect who has yet to bump similar top 4 dmen from the lineup.
    He is too good to play third pair. I think if Muzzin looks healthy in camp then Sandin gets dealt for a prospect or power forward…maybe along with a forward in an upgrade scenario.
    In no universe does a Kane trade work.

  7. Leaf fans need to give their team a break? From what I could tell, Tampa Bay was fortunate to win the series, thanks to Vasilevskiy in Game 7! I agree , too the Maple Leafs are nothing like the Lions. GO AVS!!!!!

    • Would the Leafs have been fortunate if their best player decided the game?

  8. Hope the habs will soon have those chats on making a good team better

    Lucky leafs (excluding playoffs of course)

  9. Sandin should likely just take the Lillegren type deal. The Leafs already have a full contingent of defenseman, but he might be thinking they’re a bit weak on the backend. Muzzin has really slowed down thanks to injuries, Giordano is almost 39 years old and can tell he’s lost more than a step. Holl always struggles in his own zone especially when paired with the slow Muzzin. So I can see Sandin holding out in hopes the team gets off to a slow start and the pressure will be on Dubas to get his quick legs into the lineup.

  10. Sandin has a lot of skill and great vision. The problem is, despite what people say, he is slow.
    Looks like he’s on a treadmill at times.
    Liljegren has been a little slower to develop but also has great skill and vision, but can also skate. Liljegren over Sandin, therefore Sandin should not get paid a dollar more then Lily.
    One day these two could make a great first or second pairing.