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Dubas waives his magic wand: Sparks banished

July 24, 2019, 10:04 AM ET [380 Comments]
Lucas Neilson
Toronto Maple Leafs Blogger • RSSArchiveCONTACT
As the pressure builds and we inch our way closer to the beginning of the 2019/2020 season, Kyle Dubas makes another brilliant salary cap move opening up more space for the Mitch Marner signing. It has to be close to the number now.

Garret Sparks had a great ride with the Maple Leafs organization. He won the Calder Cup with the Marlies, made his way up to the big team with the Leafs. Not bad at all, sounds like a dream come true to me.

The Leafs hit a bit of a wall last season and Sparks got lit up by a depleted Ottawa Senators lineup (6-2). They had been struggling as of late and it did seem like they needed some sort of “spark”; but I’ll tell you right now... It wasn’t Garret Sparks they needed, nor did they need his comments to the media.

“Somebody’s got to step up”

He was questioned later, “Did you mean the leadership should occur on the ice, or in the room”. Sparks replied with “Wherever”.

Sparks was implying that the team had not been playing great in front of he, or Andersen. “It’s been challenging, me and Fred both have been trying to make saves for this team and that’s all we ever try to do”.

For some reason, a rookie backup goaltender thought it would be wise to call out his team after another poor effort. Big mistake, I could see the writing on the wall at this point that Sparks is certainly going to be taking some heat for this. Furthermore, I can’t see this sitting well with his teammates and management. Sometimes you have to learn to bite your tongue after a tough loss, you’d think by the NHL level he would have learned that along the way.

Not a big deal for the Leafs as they have Hutchinson and Neuvirth on PTO. Let’s see who shines more and wants it more as we prepare for the seasons lift off.

Andersen could certainly use some help back there playing against some of the weaker teams. Garret certainly wasn’t getting the job done as you could see Babcock’s reluctance to give the kid a start. Hopefully one of Hutchinson or Neuvirth gives the Leafs number one tender a rest from time to time.

Sparks brought back a fourth round pick and let Dubas and the Leafs free up some much needed cap space. At the end of the day, I don’t think the Leafs would have kept Sparks regardless of his comments, but I can only imagine they didn’t help his cause. To me, that’s not being a good teammate; simple as that.

So what’s next for the Maple Leafs offseason? Mitch Marner.

Hopefully Mitch is enjoying his summer and searching for the most beautiful fine tipped feather to dip into the ink.

Enjoy your day, thanks for reading.
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