SPARKS SENT TO VEGAS
The Vegas Golden Knights acquired goaltender Garret Sparks from the Toronto Maple Leafs for a fourth-round draft pick in 2020 and winger David Clarkson.
What does it give the Vegas Golden Knights
This deal is less significant on the ice than off of it. Sparks bottomed out last season as Toronto's backup goaltender and needed a change of scenery. That said, he is expected to play in the AHL in 2019-20. He will head to training camp as No. 2 netminder competition for Malcolm Subban and prospect Oscar Dansk. By dumping Clarkson's contract, Vegas is will now be cap compliant entering training camp.
What does it give the Toronto Maple Leafs
It is a bit ironic that Toronto wound up reacquiring Clarkson (who will never play again in the NHL due to injury but remains on the salary cap through '19-20). After all, his contract was signed by the Maple Leafs in 2013. Once he is placed on LTIR, the Leafs will have greater cap flexibility. Toronto soured on Sparks rather quickly, though the writing was on the wall in his case. Adding a fourth-rounder here is gravy.
Sparks is now a fantasy non-factor, as he is likely behind Marc-Andre Fleury, Dansk and Subban on the depth chart. Sparks will probably have to settle for a share of the AHL goaltending duties with Chicago (AHL). There is still time for the 26-year-old Sparks to turn his career around, but fantasy leaguers should wait until they see some signs of life before taking a chance on him.