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Maple Leafs, Sandin 'going nowhere' in contract negotiations

Kevin Sousa / National Hockey League / Getty

Deep into the offseason, the Toronto Maple Leafs and restricted free-agent defenseman Rasmus Sandin are at a standstill over a new contract.

"Negotiations are going nowhere," Sandin's agent, Lewis Gross, told Sportsnet's Luke Fox on Wednesday.

Neither Gross nor Maple Leafs general manager Kyle Dubas divulged why a deal hasn't been reached.

"Negotiating contracts via the media (has) an adverse impact on player (and) team reputation and traditionally (does) not create resolutions to private matters," Dubas said.

Sandin is Toronto's lone remaining RFA. The Maple Leafs signed defenseman Timothy Liljegren - a fair comparable to Sandin also coming off his entry-level contract - to a two-year, $2.8-million deal in April.

The Maple Leafs are currently $1.4 million over the $82.5-million salary cap, according to Cap Friendly, but teams can exceed the limit in the offseason.

Toronto drafted Sandin 29th overall in 2018. He set career highs in games played (51), points (16), and average ice time (16:58) this past season but had his breakout campaign cut short due to a knee injury. He didn't draw into the Leafs' playoff roster after he recovered.

Morgan Rielly, Jake Muzzin, and Mark Giordano occupy the left side of the Leafs' blue line, making Sandin's possible role unclear.

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