By Katie Adler
Rasmus Sandin, who the Capitals acquired from the Toronto Maple Leafs in a trade Tuesday afternoon, joined his new team in Anaheim on Wednesday.
Immigration hold-ups prevented Sandin from playing in the Caps’ eventual 3-2 victory over the Ducks, but earlier in the day, he still had the opportunity to practice with his new teammates and speak with assembled Caps media for the first time.
Though sad to leave Toronto, Sandin expressed his excitement to join the Capitals roster.
“Obviously [the trade] wasn’t something I was expecting,” Sandin said. “Sad to leave the teammates, stuff like that, but at the same time, really excited for the opportunity to come here. It’s a great organization – you know, already seeing the guys now for just a couple of hours but they seem really really good. Very excited for it.
“I remember playing Washington with Toronto and I love how they play their game,” he later added. “It’s going to be a lot of fun to be a part of.”
Most of the players in the locker room are new faces for Sandin, but he will get the chance to reunite with former teammate Nicolas Aube-Kubel; both started the year with the Leafs before the Capitals claimed Aube-Kubel off of waivers in November.
Sandin will also get the opportunity to share the ice with Swedish countryman Nicklas Backstrom. Sandin says Backstrom is the only other current Caps roster member that he knows.
He was asked how exactly the two have become acquainted.
“Just because he’s a Swede,” Sandin answered. “You know, all Swedes know each other.”
The two do share a connection beyond nationality, with both having played for Brynäs IF in the Swedish Hockey League. Sandin took the opportunity to praise his new teammate: “I think he’s one of the best Swedes that we have and has had a terrific career. I’m very excited to be teammates with him now.”
After serving primarily third-pairing minutes in Toronto, Sandin will likely get the opportunity to play a much larger role with the Capitals. He hopes to show that he deserves the responsibility.
“You want to prove yourself and earn that role that you want, so it’s not just about coming here and being given that role that you want,” Sandin said. “You have to earn it. I’m very prepared for it, and I’m very excited about it.”
With both Nick Jensen and Martin Fehervary leaving Wednesday’s game early due to injury, not to mention John Carlson’s ongoing absence, Sandin will likely get that opportunity to prove himself very soon.
Screenshot via @Capitals/Twitter
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