Connect with us

Sports

Rasmus Sandin wise to end stalemate and rush to Maple Leafs camp – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


TORONTO — This was never about money only.

Opportunity and ice time were always intertwined in Rasmus Sandin’s prolonged contractual stalemate with the Toronto Maple Leafs, which mercifully ended Thursday morning with a two-year, $2.8-million bridge deal, signed eight days after training camp’s opening.

“This morning, Rasmus Sandin and (agent) Lewis Gross reached out to us and informed us that after watching our game last night and seeing more injuries accrued by our defence, that they wanted to get this locked in today so Rasmus could get over to Toronto and help his teammates,” GM Kyle Dubas said in a statement. “We appreciate Rasmus and his camp taking that step today to get this contract done and allow him the time to ready for the final preseason games.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

“As stated throughout this process, Rasmus is a key member of the present and future of (our) team, and we are excited today that he is en route to Toronto to ready for Opening Night in Montreal.”

The subtext here: Sandin blinked first.

And that’s OK.

The defenceman accepted a bridge contract similar to one tabled months ago, for the same term and total dollars as friend and fellow RFA Timothy Liljegren. He won’t miss a paycheque.

The deal is fair market value for both sides. No one “won” the dispute, and if there is any loss it may be Sandin’s fitness needing to play catchup — but let’s see how he looks on the ice before ruling.

If Dubas made any concession in the deal, it’s that the final season of Sandin’s agreement carries a salary of $1.6 million, meaning he’ll receive a richer qualifying offer as an RFA upon the conclusion of the 2023-24 season.

Ultimately, flying Sandin from Sweden to Toronto — he’ll make the journey Friday — is in the best interest of all involved.

From the club’s perspective, NHL-calibre defencemen were getting scarce fast. Veteran Jake Muzzin (back) has yet to participate in a full team practice. Liljegren (hernia) is still a minimum of five weeks away from seeing action.

And next-men-up Jordie Benn (groin) and Carl Dahlstrom (shoulder) both suffered significant injuries in Wednesday’s pre-season action, further clearing a path for Sandin to seize not only a regular role but make a case for the top four.

Continuing to sit at home and ask for money the cap-strapped organization doesn’t have to give (without making a trade) would have hardly served the 22-year-old well.

With only 88 NHL games on his resume, the 2018 first-round pick needs to see action for his own sake.

“It goes without saying,” coach Sheldon Keefe said this week, that there are prime shifts just waiting for Sandin as soon as he signs.

Once Sandin is up to speed, it will relieve pressure on the Leafs to rush Muzzin or Liljegren back from recovery.

More important, a strong showing by the confident left shot could set him up for the payday and security he really desires by 2024.

The lone Maple Leafs defenceman signed beyond that summer is Morgan Rielly.

That means a top-four role — and top-four salary — is dangling like a carrot in the distance. The onus falls on Sandin to go out and snatch it.

With Sandin’s business tidied up, the Maple Leafs currently stand $2.9 million over the salary ceiling, per CapFriendly.com.

To become cap compliant — and sign PTO Zach Aston-Reese as hoped — Dubas must shed salary via LTIR and/or the waiver wire prior to Opening Night.

Provided Muzzin’s recovery from back pain goes smoothly, the Maple Leafs’ blue line should look something like this when their season opens on Oct. 12 at Bell Centre:

Morgan Rielly – T.J. Brodie

Jake Muzzin – Justin Holl

Rasmus Sandin – Mark Giordano

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Canada coach John Herdman disputes Croatian counterpart's account of skipped post-match handshake – The Globe and Mail

Published

 on


Canada head coach John Herdman during a World Cup match against Croatia, at the Khalifa International Stadium, in Doha, Qatar, on Nov. 27.The Associated Press

Canada coach John Herdman is disputing his Croatian counterpart’s account of why there was no handshake after their World Cup game.

Herdman had antagonized the Croatian camp with a heated postgame message to his players after Canada’s opening 1-0 loss to Belgium at the soccer showcase. Asked in a pitch-side interview what he had said in a postgame huddle to his players, Herdman replied: “I told them they belong here and we’re going to go and eff – Croatia. That’s as simple as it gets.”

That prompted a stern lecture from Croatia coach Zlatko Dalic on the need for respect. And after Croatia beat the Canadians 4-1 Sunday, Dalic was asked if he had a chance to shake hands with Herdman following the final whistle.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

Canada’s out of the World Cup, but here’s why their next game against Morocco still matters

Alphonso Davies is the hub of the Canadian men’s soccer team: Everything revolves around him

“I did not see the other head coach after the match,” he said through an interpreter. “When I lose I always congratulate the winner. He was not there and that’s his way of doing things. He’s obviously mad. He is a good coach. He is a high-quality professional. But it will take some time for him to learn some things.”

Herdman, whose postgame news conference preceded Dalic’s on Sunday, disputed that account Wednesday when asked about it.

“Look, we shook hands before the game. So that happened,” he said. “At the end of the game, the usual process – no different than [with Belgium coach] Roberto Martinez. You shake hands with the coach, then you go shake hands with the referee.

“When I turned round, [Dalic] was already off down the touchline, which is his right to do. He’s celebrating. He’s just beaten Canada. It was a big celebration for him. He was off and I couldn’t get to shake his hand. I went into the field, shook the ref’s hand, shook players’ hands. And didn’t get to see him.

“That moment’s gone. We’re into process now – team huddle, see your fans, flash interviews, calm yourself down so you don’t say anything and move on.”

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Argentina coast past Poland 2-0 to top World Cup Group C – Al Jazeera English

Published

 on


Second-half goals from Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez cap a return to form for the South American giants.

Argentina coasted past Poland in a 2-0 victory on Wednesday night to top Group C and confirm their place in the last 16 of the World Cup, signalling a return to form for the South American giants after a poor start to this year’s tournament.

Alexis Mac Allister and Julian Alvarez’s second-half goals capped a dominant display by coach Lionel Scaloni’s charges at Stadium 974 – which was packed to the rafters with tens of thousands of raucous Argentinian supporters – to set up a clash with Australia on Saturday.

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

After a goalless first 45 minutes, Mac Allister got on the end of Nahuel Molina’s cross just one minute into the second period and, despite making weak contact, he saw his shot creep over the line with Polish keeper Wojciech Szczesny beaten.

The second goal was the result of patient buildup play which saw Argentina shift the ball around before Enzo Fernandez made a defence-splitting pass for Julian Alvarez, who found space in the box and smashed it into the top corner to effectively kill the game in the 67th minute.

Poland were lifeless throughout but managed to also squeeze through to the knockout phase on goal difference at the expense of Mexico, who beat Saudi Arabia 2-1 in Group C’s other match.

They will meet defending champions France in the last 16 on Sunday.

Argentina's Alexis Mac Allister scores their first goal
Mac Allister opened the scoring for Argentina immediately after half-time [Issei Kato/Reuters]

Messi misses from the penalty spot

The first half’s defining moment came in the 39th minute when Argentina captain and talisman Lionel Messi failed to convert from the penalty spot on his record-breaking 22nd World Cup match, one more than the late Diego Maradona managed for La Albiceleste.

Poland were up in arms when Argentina were awarded the penalty after a VAR check for a foul on Messi when Szczesny’s glove brushed his face as the Paris St Germain forward rose up for a header at the far post.

But Szczesny was up to the task and despite the Argentina fans raising the decibel levels inside the arena, he kept his composure and guessed correctly, diving to his left and using one hand to swat aside Messi’s effort.

Not to be deterred, Messi never stopped surging forward and he was a menace to Poland all throughout the game with his dribbling ability and vision.

His glittering performance stood in stark contrast to that of Poland’s star striker Robert Lewandowski, who was deprived of service and virtually anonymous for the duration of the match.

Messi, 35, has admitted this will likely be his last World Cup outing while Lewandoski, 34, has said he is unsure if he will make it to the 2026 edition in North America but would like to do so.

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Sports

Maple Leafs extend win streak to five games as Marner enters record book – Sportsnet.ca

Published

 on


<!–

–>

* #userInformationForm *

Genius Dog 336 x 280 - Animated

<!––>
* traditionalSignIn_emailAddress *

Password

<!––>

* traditionalSignIn_signInButton *
<!–

–>
* traditionalSignIn_createButton *

* /userInformationForm *

Adblock test (Why?)



Source link

Continue Reading

Trending