Maple Leafs PR just shared the information that the Leafs have brought back their 2nd and 3rd string goalies from last season.
— Leafs PR (@LeafsPR) July 1, 2017
On 2 year deals for each, it will be very interesting to see if there’s a point where their positions on the depth chart change, moving Sparks into the backup role. With McElhinney’s excellent numbers last season and Sparks’ continued excellence in the AHL, these are both sensible retainees.
In the AHL last season, Sparks had a save percentage of 92.2%, good for 21st in that league. Certainly that seems like enough to justify contention for a job with the big club. Sparks was a 6th round draft choice by the Maple Leafs back in 2011.
On the other hand, McElhinney had an explosion from his career numbers, jumping from a career 90.5% goaltender to a respectable 91.7% between the Maple Leafs and the Blue Jackets last season. McElhinney was picked up on waivers by Toronto after they moved on from previous back-up goaltender Jhonas Enroth, who lasted just 6 games with the Leafs before being traded to Anaheim.
For the financial side, information is provided here by Lance Hornby:
McElhinney is two years at $850,000 US and Sparks two years at AAV of $675,000.
— Lance Hornby (@sunhornby) July 1, 2017
Additionally, for Garret Sparks, the first year will be a two-way contract, paying him less in the AHL than in the NHL, but the second year will flip to a one-way, where he gets paid the same in both:
The first year of Garret Sparks' #leafs extension is a two-way (AHL/NHL) deal. Year 2 is one-way at $700,000.
— Chris Johnston (@reporterchris) July 1, 2017