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Maple Leafs & Golden Knights Swap David Clarkson, Garret Sparks

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The Toronto Maple Leafs have acquired David Clarkson and a 2020 fourth-round decide from the Vegas Golden Knights in alternate for backup goaltender Garret Sparks.

The Maple Leafs are literally re-acquiring Clarkson, after sending him to the Columbus Blue Jackets again in 2015. The 35-year-old performed simply 26 video games for the Blue Jackets earlier than a career-ending again damage in 2016. Clarkson was then despatched to the Golden Knights forward of the enlargement draft.

Clarkson is getting into the ultimate yr of a seven-year, $36.75 million deal that was, coincidently, signed with the Maple Leafs. His precise wage this season will probably be simply $1 million, however Toronto will probably be inserting the ahead on long-term injured reserve (LTIR).

Sparks has been within the Maple Leafs’ system ever since he was drafted in 2011, 190th total within the seventh spherical. Since then, he’s performed 37 NHL video games, cut up between the 2015-16 and 2018-19 seasons. His document is 14-18-2, with a three.09 targets towards common (GAA) and a .898 save share (SV%).

Sparks’ worth has actually come within the AHL with the Toronto Marlies. There, he’s performed 121 video games, going 80-28-5 with a 2.12 GAA and a .927 SV%. He’s additionally performed 27 playoff video games, with a document of 17-Eight-Zero and a 2.27 GAA and .914 SV%. His Toronto profession is highlighted by a Calder Cup with the Marlies in 2018.

Maple Leafs, Golden Knights Save Cash; Sufficient to Re-sign Marner?

The Golden Knights would have needed to pay 20 % of Clarkson’s $1 million ($200,000), as insurance coverage solely covers 80 %. However it appears they didn’t need to need to pay that. The very deep-pocketed Maple Leafs had been greater than prepared to pay that sum to maneuver a goaltender who struggled final season, get a decide in a really deep 2020 NHL Draft, and provides themselves slightly cap room.

The Toronto Maple Leafs have re-acquired David Clarkson (John E. Sokolowski-USA TODAY Sports activities)

As a result of Clarkson is on LTIR, his cap hit ($5.25 million) doesn’t have an effect on the Maple Leafs’s cap hit. By sending Sparks away, the workforce truly saves his $750,000 cap hit that was signed simply again in March.

The Maple Leafs nonetheless have an enormous transfer to make: re-signing Mitch Marner. With this commerce, the workforce can now construct a workforce with a wage cap of $92.05 million this summer season. Then, inserting Clarkson and Nathan Horton on LTIR will cowl the $10.55 million distinction above the cap. That needs to be sufficient to get their star ahead underneath contract.

Buying and selling away Sparks and taking over the Clarkson contract could also be a steep worth to pay, however getting a further decide and maybe creating the room to re-sign their star participant could also be price it. Plainly as soon as once more, common supervisor Kyle Dubas and the Maple Leafs have dug themselves out of a gap that not many thought they might get out of.

Sparks Will get Contemporary Begin with Golden Knights

As talked about, Sparks didn’t have the perfect season for the Maple Leafs. In 20 video games, he went Eight-9-1, with a three.15 GAA and a .902 SV%, backing up starter Fredrik Andersen. His efficiency within the common season led to him dropping his position to Michael Hutchinson for the playoffs.

With the Golden Knights, Sparks will get one other probability to convey his AHL success to the NHL stage. Marc-Andre Fleury has the primary spot locked down, however the quantity two spot may very well be open to some competitors. Malcolm Subban has held down the position, however Sparks might problem him for that.

Subban has carried out higher within the NHL than the brand new arrival, but when the commerce offers Sparks a push, he might make it attention-grabbing.

For the Maple Leafs, it seems like their backup place is open as nicely. Simply after the commerce, the workforce signed goaltender Michal Neuvirth to knowledgeable tryout. It seems like Toronto and Vegas could have some goaltending battles in coaching camp.

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