Toronto Maple Leafs Acquire Calvin Pickard From Vegas Golden Knights

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Calvin Pickard
SAN JOSE, CA - SEPTEMBER 21: Calvin Pickard #31 of the Vegas Golden Knights looks on during the game against the San Jose Sharks at SAP Center on September 21, 2017 in San Jose, California. (Photo by Rocky W. Widner/NHL/Getty Images)

The Toronto Maple Leafs beefed up their goaltending depth by adding another NHL calibre goaltender in Calvin Pickard. In return, they send 22-year old-prospect Tobias Lindberg as well as a 2018 6th round draft pick to the Vegas Golden Knights.

The Golden Knights claimed Malcolm Subban off waivers Tuesday, making their young backup expendable. Pickard passed through waivers today. Passing through waivers allows Toronto to send Pickard directly to the AHL Toronto Marlies without passing waivers again. If they had claimed him on waivers, he would have needed to be assigned to the NHL roster.

Toronto Maple Leafs Acquire Calvin Pickard From Vegas Golden Knights

Calvin Pickard

A second round (49th overall) pick of the Colorado Avalanche in 2010, Pickard spent parts of three seasons with the big club. In 86 career NHL games, Pickard posted a 28-44-6 record and a .914 save percentage. He spent the majority of his professional career in the AHL, where he has a 69-62-19 record as well as a .914 save percentage. Pickard is reporting to Toronto’s AHL Marlies to accompany Garret Sparks. He provides added depth for the organization.

Tobias Lindberg

Tobias Lindberg will head to Vegas, and is likely to join the AHL Chicago Wolves. The former Memorial Cup champion was a fourth round (102nd overall) selection by the Ottawa Senators in 2013. He was acquired by Toronto in the Dion Phaneuf trade from 2016. In 100 AHL games Binghamton and Toronto, Lindberg has 17 goals and 33 assists for 50 points. At 6’2″ and 216lbs, the sizable winger will be a welcome addition to Vegas farm system. The trade will also be a welcome move for Lindberg, as he moves on from the winger logjam on the Maple Leafs.

Re-assurance

The transaction is reassuring for the Leafs. It allows management and fans to rest a little easier should they require a backup for an extended period of time this season. Frederik Andersen played 66 games last season for the Leafs, the most in his career. It was also the second most of any goalie in the league last year. They will likely lean heavily on Andersen again this year, but may want to ease his workload later in the season. Curtis McElhinney was claimed by Toronto off waivers last season. He put up a satisfactory 6-7-0 record as well as a .914 save percentage. He replaced Jhonas Enroth, who was abandoned by the club early in 2016 after struggling early. Pickard will be a welcome addition to ease the minds of fans who questioned McElhinney’s abilities backing up Andersen over the course of a full season.

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