In today’s NHL news and rumors update, there is some surprising news out of the Toronto Maple Leafs organization, a big-time defenseman for the Arizona Coyotes is out for a while and the Ducks and Sabres might still have interest in working with each other on a trade. But, how soon would a deal happen, if at all?
Maple Leafs Send Down Sandin
The Toronto Maple Leafs have surprised a few people to start the week. The organization announced that 19-year-old rookie defenseman Rasmus Sandin has been sent down to the AHL’s Marlies.
According to a breaking news report from Sportsnet’s National Hockey League insider Chris Johnston and then a post confirmed by the Maple Leafs, the team has decided to loan Sandin to the Marlies in what Pierre LeBrun of TSN is calling a developmental move.
Sandin has been one of the Maple Leafs better defensemen in the early going but LeBrun believes that this move is motivated by a desire to get Sandin more ice time than he was currently getting at the NHL level.
“He’s playing just 12 minutes a game in the NHL and no special teams. My sense is the Leafs feel his development is better served playing big minutes within a more impactful role in the AHL.”
Through his first six career NHL games Sandin has recorded no goals and two assists with a plus minus rating of 0. Veteran blue liner Kevin Gravel has been recalled in his place.
The hope is that Gravel can help cut down on the goals against for the Maple Leafs who have allowed at least three goals in four of their six games.
Maple Leafs Looking to Add Russian Forwards?
Still with the Maple Leafs, according to a report from Kontinental Hockey League insider Igor Eronko of Sports Express, Maple Leafs GM Kyle Dubas met with two former NHL players currently playing in the KHL while on a trip to Russia.
Dubas sat with former Buffalo Sabres first-rounder Mikhail Grigorenko and defenseman Nikita Nesterov. Nesterov might be seen as an inexpensive solution to some of the Maple Leafs blue line issues.
Hjalmarsson Out With Broken Leg
Similar to the injury suffered by Adam Larsson in the first game of the season for the Edmonton Oilers, Coyotes’ defenseman Niklas Hjalmarsson did not return to Saturday night’s game against the Colorado Avalanche after blocking a shot. The Athletic’s Craig Morgan reports that Hjalmarsson has a cracked fibula in his left leg.
It is expected Hjalmarsson will miss three months which means he won’t be back in the lineup until 2020.
Ducks Still Trying to Find Right-Shot Defenseman?
The Athletic’s Eric Stephens notes that the Anaheim Ducks are likely still seeking a right-shot defenseman after failing to land Justin Faulk in a trade this summer. But, their decent start to the season means they might not be in a huge rush.
The Ducks were linked to Buffalo Sabres’ defenseman Rasmus Ristolainen and still are. That said, Buffalo is also off to a strong start and likely aren’t in a hurry to make a move, especially while Brandon Montour is out with an injury.
Kings Not Fans of Taylor Swift?
In an interesting story, the Los Angeles Kings are covering up Taylor Swift’s banner that hangs at Staples Center for every home game. Apparently, there is some serious superstition going on that since it was hung, the Kings who haven’t won a playoff round need to make it go away.
Before their home opener against the Nashville Predators on Saturday, the Kings covered Swift’s “most sold out performances” banner and will continue to do so. They won’t take it down, they just want it out of sight and out of mind.
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