We now have confirmation of a big trade rumor that has been floating around the Toronto Maple Leafs organization.
According to comments made by Toronto Maple Leafs insider James Mirtle of The Athletic during a radio interview on TSN 1050 in Toronto, the Maple Leafs have been actively shopping one of their players. Mirtle informed the TSN 1050 hosts that the Maple Leafs have been looking to move veteran goaltender Calvin Pickard, a goalie who has not really worked out for the Leafs as a backup option.
It seems that general manager Kyle Dubas has a great deal of faith in Maple Leafs product Garret Sparks and that may push Pickard to the back of the line.
"I know for a fact that Kyle Dubas is a big believer in Garret Sparks," said Mirtle as per TSN.
Mirtle was able to confirm, via other NHL franchises, that Pickard has been offered to teams around the NHL.
"Calvin Pickard has been offered around the league in trade talks, other teams have been saying that. So they are looking to kind of ease that log job a little bit."
Mirtle believes that even with a trade involving Pickard coming to fruition that the Leafs will be forced to put one of their back up options on waivers and risk losing him. Keeping that in mind a trade involving Pickard makes more and more sense for the Leafs as they not only need to make room on their roster but could potentially risk losing him to the waiver process as well.
Pickard has shown himself to be a viable backup option for the Maple Leafs but perhaps the greatest issue that he faces has been the lack of consistency that he has demonstrated during his career. The first time he was called up to the National Hockey League, when he was still a member of the Colorado Avalanche, Pickard appeared in 16 games and was very impressive recording a 2.35 goals against average and a .932 save percentage. Those would lead you to believe that he had a promising career ahead of him but he was unable to maintain that level of consistency.
In 20 games the follow season Pickard recorded a 2.56 goals against average and a .922 save percentage, one again good numbers but things began to go bad for him once he was given a larger work load. During the 2016 - 2017 NHL regular season Pickard appeared in 50 games and his goals against average jumped up to a 2.98 and his save percentage dropped to a .904. In the one NHL game he played for the Leafs he did no better recording a 3.83 goals against average and a .857 save percentage.
At 26 years of age Pickard still has plenty of time to bounce back and he could be a viable backup option for teams that are desperate for help in goal. The Philadelphia Flyers were unable to find consistent goaltending throughout all of last season, and some would argue for much longer than that, and that could be an example of a team that would consider a move for Pickard.