Add to favourites
News Local and Global in your language
19th of October 2018

Canada



Crowded Maple Leaf crease takes time out for a show

They don’t like splitting net time, but the four Maple Leaf goaltending contenders were up to sharing popcorn and a screening.

Frederik Andersen, Curtis McElhinney, Garret Sparks and Calvin Pickard all went to see the Grant Fuhr documentary Coco prior to the start of Thursday’s training camp, where Andersen is eventually emerging to resume his No. 1 role and the other three, all on one-way contracts, fight it out to be a back-up or return to the Marlies.

But for one night, they were just members of the same union.

[embedded content]

“We all sat in a row together,” said Sparks, AHL goalie of the year for the Calder Cup-winning Marlies. “I bought the popcorn and we shared it, had a good time. No one told us to do that, we weren’t mandated, we enjoyed doing that together.

“It was really a unique opportunity to hang out and be passionate goaltenders on the same team. It’s a (shared) learning experience to delve into Grant’s life, a guy who has dealt with his fair share of adversity and also experience.”

Fuhr’s career was almost torpedoed by a substance abuse problem around the same time he was a big part of the Edmonton Oilers dynasty. His brief time as a Leaf was also one of his low points, as he came to a struggling club in a big market.

Curtis McElhinney waiting for his picture to be taken. The Toronto Maple Leafs open training camp at the MasterCard Centre in Toronto on Thursday September 13, 2018. Craig Robertson/Toronto Sun

“When you reach tremendous levels of success, you have to keep your head about you and keep doing the things that made you successful,” Sparks said of what the Leaf stoppers took away from the viewing.

Sparks could be facing a career challenge in the coming weeks. The Leafs might have to put him on waivers if the veteran McElhinney stays as Andersen’s low maintenance substitute. GM Kyle Dubas didn’t intend to have this contract conundrum in the crease.

“I don’t think you ever plan it to come out that way,” Dubas said. “We signed Garret and Curtis to two-year contracts in 2017, then traded for Calvin last year to solidify our depth. The forgotten guy that doesn’t get mentioned a lot is Kasimir Kaskisuo, his statistics were in the top 10 in the AHL year when we loaned him to Chicago.

“It’s always a position where you want to have depth at, rather than trying to search for it when things don’t go well. All (five) of them are going to get a great opportunity in camp and exhibition and have the chance to prove themselves. We’ll make the decision that’s best for our team now and moving forward.”

Sparks would be happy making the Leafs, but playing less than 20 games in Andersen’s shadow.

“I don’t think there is an adjustment that needs to be made. Playing games is amazing, but when you have an opportunity to play with an NHL team, to practise with NHL players and have the access we have to everything here, there is no shortage of work you can do on a daily basis.”

lhornby@postmedia.com

Read More




Leave A Comment

More News

Canada – Macleans.ca

CBC | Canada News

Canoe.ca - National

: Canada

Canada stories

Vancouver Sun

Montreal Gazette

TORONTO STAR | NEWS | CANADA

blogTO

Disclaimer and Notice:WorldProNews.com is not the owner of these news or any information published on this site.