Rasmus Sandin Considers Trade to the Washington Capitals As Life Changing

 Photo: Bruce Bennett/Getty Images

On February 28, 2023, the life of Rasmus Sandin changed radically. At the time he was on the ice for practice with his Maple Leaf teammates in Seattle in the early stages of a long road trip in the Northwest. Head Coach Sheldon Keefe said that media personnel wanted to talk to him, but he was then directed to see General Manager, Kyle Dubas, who informed him that he was just traded to the Washington Capitals.

“It came as a shock. I was training in Seattle and had packed for a ten-day road trip to Edmonton, Calgary, Vancouver, and Seattle, and after the first game on that road trip they called me late – the coach said our media guy wanted to meet me. I got off and he said, ‘Kyle wants to see you’ and then I understood. But it was definitely a shock,” Sandin told NHL.com.

“Yes, of course. I was glad I didn’t have a wife and kids or anything. You know, having to move them and put the kids in new schools and things like that, it was definitely shocking, but it was also a lot of fun. Like I said, I had a lot of fun in Washington after I got there. So yes, I can’t wait until I get to play a full season.”

After learning of the trade, Sandin packed his bags and journeyed south to Anaheim, California where he met his new team who were on a West Coast Road trip of their own. Because of immigration issues, Sandin could not play in the Capitals game against the Anaheim Ducks on March 1. Those issues were resolved in time for the Capitals’ next game which was against the San Jose Sharks on March 4.

During his tenure with the Capitals, Sandin gained the trust of then-head coach Peter Laviolette and even spent time on the power play with Alex Ovechkin. This was an improvement over his role in Toronto, which generally was third-pairing defenseman.

“Yes, it was different. I mean, I got a good opportunity from the coaches and the teammates took good care of me. I really enjoyed it. It was just a lot of fun. I wasn’t there very long, but I really enjoyed it and I’m looking forward to a hopefully long time there now.”

For the Capitals, Sandin played in 19 games, scoring three goals and recording 12 assists for 15 points. Prior to the trade he had scored four goals and recorded 16 assists for 20 points overall in 52 games with the Maple Leafs.

Sandin is also looking forward to being reunited with former coach Spencer Carbery.

“I don’t really know. They are somewhat reminiscent of each other. The times that I worked with Carbery in Toronto were during power-play meetings and such. He was very good at getting the best out of each individual and working as a unit. So, I think it’s going to be very good for us.”

Sandin firmly believes the Capitals have a strong nucleus, but also believes the team will need a little luck to make the playoffs.

“A lot of things. But I think we have good qualities in the dressing room. The people we have in the dressing room mean a lot to us. The players here are really, really good. We have to have a little bit of luck, a little bit of belief and I really believe we’ll make the playoffs this year.”

Before the trade, Nicklas Backstrom was the only player on the Capitals that he knew personally.

“For me personally… when I arrived in Washington, he was the only one I knew, and I barely knew him. But he was the one I was a little familiar with. But he introduced me to everyone on my first day. He meant a lot to me.”

Sandin believes it would be very meaningful for the team with Backstrom back for a full season and able to play at his usual level.

“I definitely think he can have a good season. Last season was obviously tough for him, with the surgery and everything. That would mean a lot. Everyone knows how good ‘Nick is. He played me into a few chances last year that I could have scored on and you thought ‘no way he’ll see me here’, and then he puts a great backhand pass through two guys and you basically get an open goal. He will mean a lot.”

By Diane Doyle

Further Reading
Report: Washington Acquires Rasmus Sandin From Toronto For Erik Gustafsson, Boston’s 2023 First-Round Pick | NoVa Caps (novacapsfans.com)
Assessing The Trade For Rasmus Sandin And What He Will Bring To The Capitals’ Lineup | NoVa Caps (novacapsfans.com)

About Diane Doyle

Been a Caps fan since November 1975 when attending a game with my then boyfriend and now husband.
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5 Responses to Rasmus Sandin Considers Trade to the Washington Capitals As Life Changing

  1. Prevent Defense says:

    Going into the 2017-18 season, the Caps blueline featured newcomers Christian Djoos and Michal Kempny. There were caterwauls of “who the h*ll are these two ch*mps?” in Caps’ anti-social media. Then the season went on and both Djoos and Kempny had their career years. Djoos flamed-out almost immedately afterwards, while Kempny was a pretty darned good NHL defenseman. The profoundly disgusting cheap-shot laid on him by TBL idiot Paquette wrecked his health and eventually led to cascading-injuries.

    This background is to suggest that the Caps have a collection of defensemen who get ZERO respect from comment-fans — but who are solid NHL defenseman. Not in the category of the top-ten NHL D-men of all-time, so they $ukk. They $ukk, I say! Well, they don’t, and they will be very good this season. Jensen, Van Riemsdyk, Carlson, Edmundson and Sandin will form the veteran nucleus of one of the most reliable NHL d-corps in the league this year. But even if they do well, comment-land will still insist that they $ukk.

    • Diane Doyle says:

      Seems that Caps defensemen have been roundly criticized over the years. Recall Larry Murphy, a good offensive defenseman who sometimes made errors and would get “whoop whopped”. And Kevin Hatcher. There were critics of Sergei Gonchar and Mike Green. And in recent years, Orlov and Carlson.

      • Anonymous says:

        There’s a few loudmouths out there, who are constantly criticizing everything. You can always tell them, because they use the word “soft” all the time. They don’t like a player, unless he’s knocking every opponent into next week. Last I checked, hits don’t win hockey games, goals do.

  2. DWGie26 says:

    We have some good defensemen and some good youth especially with Alexyev (and Iorio) in the wings. Will be interesting to see how Mitch Love coaches up the defense. I think we’ll see the intensity and nasty turned up a bit. Edmunston adds size, grit, and experience.

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