After an absolutely outstanding season, Toronto Maple Leafs prospect Garret Sparks has been named Goaltender of the Year in the AHL. Sparks appeared in 42 games for the Toronto Marlies and went 30-9-1 with a .936 save percentage. This huge year for Sparks—along with a similarly impressive season for teammate Calvin Pickard—creates an interesting problem for the Maple Leafs going forward.
Frederik Andersen is entrenched as the starter, while Curtis McElhinney actually led the NHL in save percentage this season in his limited backup role. Pickard is scheduled to be a restricted free agent while Sparks has one year left on his contract. Both likely deserve another opportunity at the highest level, but it will be tough to displace McElhinney after the season he had.
- The Philadelphia Flyers have recalled Dustin Tokarski as a third goaltender for the playoffs, leaving Alex Lyon in the AHL to start for the Lehigh Valley Phantoms. Tokarski is no stranger to NHL postseason play however, as he started five games for the Montreal Canadiens back in 2014. If the Flyers suffer injuries to their primary goaltenders, it’s nice to have someone with playoff experience as an insurance policy.
- The Anaheim Ducks on the other hand have sent Reto Berra back to the minor leagues, signalling that John Gibson is indeed ready to return and start Game 1. Gibson’s status was unclear until the last few days, but he’ll try to show he deserves some attention as one of the league’s best when he takes on the San Jose Sharks tomorrow night.