Babcock Comments On Why They Chose Sparks Over McElhinney/Pickard.

Published October 2, 2018 at 2:58 PM

The Toronto Maple Leafs are going all in on Garret Sparks after his Calder Cup win with the Toronto Marlies last year in the AHL. To do so, the Leafs had to take a gamble and place both Curtis McElhinney and Calvin Pickard on waivers hoping that at least one would make it through waivers. Unfortunately neither did as McElhinney is on his way to Carolina while Pickard is on his way to Philadelphia. Head coach Mike Babcock explained to reporters that the choice to go with Sparks didn't necessarily have to do with Spark's preseason performance, but instead the legacy that he's slowly built within the organization. "[Mac's] been unbelievable for us, unbelievable man, great veteran. On the other side, Sparks has been in the organization for a long time and built himself a history. His camp isn't what got it done, it was the history."
It's easy to forget, but Sparks has already been in the Leafs organization for seven years now and after seven years of development the Leafs are willing to let Sparks show them what he's got.Babcock had some strong parting words for both McElhinney and Pickard:"Carolina did unbelievable in getting Mac. Great person, great family, good pro, does it right every day, good goaltender. Quality man.Pick is another quality, quality guy. Unbelievable last year for Sparks helping him become a pro. Good numbers in the National Hockey League so he'll do a good job, but he's a great teammate and so we're going to miss those guys. Kasimir Kaskisuo now in the minors, he is standing by himself. And yet that's the way the league is made. It's made to try and keep everybody exactly the same, that's the way it goes. You'd love to have them all slip through but they didn't."Are you happy with the decision to roll with Sparks?

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