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Tag: Garret Sparks

Why Did Toronto Trade Garret Sparks to Vegas?

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

While there’s no question who’s the number one goaltender in Las Vegas, talking heads in Eastern Canada are busy speculating if goalie Garret Sparks can someday be the numero uno on an NHL team.

“It’s very possible. Based on what I saw last year, I don’t think he has that potential. This is a guy who’s had great success in the minor league. He came into a very pressured situation in Toronto… he was thrown into a role, maybe a role he wasn’t ready for.”-Carlo Colaiacovo, Former NHL’er and analyst on TSN 690 Montreal

Sparks was acquired earlier this month via trade with the Toronto Maple Leafs, in exchange for a fourth round pick and David Clarkson’s dead money.

On surface it looked like a minor move to create some financial wiggle room for each team. What was lost in the deal was the expectations Vegas may or may not have for Sparks. We know George McPhee doesn’t like leaving a swap meet without a bargain, maybe the backup from Toronto was more than an impulse buy.

“With Dubas being a Sparks guy, because he had him in the minors. He groomed him. You never thought it would be a possibility but clearly he was a guy that they were willing to part with.”-Colaiacovo

For the past two seasons, when healthy Malcolm Subban has been Marc-Andre Fleury’s backup. Subban is 25-years-old and has never started more than 20 games in a season. Sparks is a little older and has less experience but let’s face it, he was brought in to compete for Fleury’s relief role. Like he did last year in Toronto. After a hot start to the season the former Maple Leaf created buzz around the fan base.

Here’s an excerpt from an article written last week by SportsNet’s Mike Johnston:

Sparks made 20 appearances this past season. During his first 10 outings the Elmhurst, Ill., native went an impressive 6-2-1 despite posting a less-than-stellar .905 save percentage.

In early January, though, he took a puck off his head at practice that resulted in a concussion and his season went downhill from there.

“I felt I was finally starting to build some momentum and get my chance,” Sparks said. “I just felt like I got cut down, and it’s hard to regrow after you get your progress chopped off like that.”

His final 10 appearances were rough as he went 2-7-0 with a .899 save percentage and eventually wore out his welcome.-Sportsnet.com

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Golden Knights Re-Sign Deryk Engelland, Trade David Clarkson And 4th Round Pick For Garrett Sparks

(Photo Credit: SinBin.vegas Photographer Brandon Andreasen)

George McPhee and Kelly McCrimmon have awoken from their summer slumber to complete to transactions and pave the way for more in the future.

First, the Golden Knights traded David Clarkson’s contract and a 4th Round pick in 2020 for goalie Garret Sparks.

The benefits for the Golden Knights are minimal as Vegas could have simply placed Clarkson on LTIR, but they do gain a bit of flexibility which they would not have had if they had kept Clarkson’s contract on the books.

The other move was re-signing Deryk Engelland to a one-year contract worth $700,000. The contract includes performance bonuses which could allow him to earn up to $1.5 million total.

(To our knowledge) Without moving Clarkson, those performance bonuses would have been counted against the Golden Knights salary cap whether Engelland reached them or not, but without Clarkson, and thus Vegas NOT using LTIR, they can be pushed to 2020-21 in the event he reaches them and the Golden Knights cannot afford them.

Next, how does this affect the elephant in the room?

Finally, Garret Sparks is an AHL level goalie who has been in the Toronto system since 2013. In 2017-18 he was named the best goalie in the AHL as the Toronto Marlies went on to win the Calder Cup. He recorded the best save percentage in the league that season as well at .936.

Last season, Sparks stayed with the NHL club throughout. He played 20 games and posted a 3.15 GAA and a .902 SV%.

Sparks is on a one-way one-year contract worth $750,000.

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