Kyle Dubas reunites with former Leafs goaltender, signing him to a deal with the Penguins organization
BY MIKE ARMENTI JULY 18, 2023 (11:44)
In 20 games for the Leafs during the 2018-19 season, Sparks managed a very forgettable 8-9-1 record with a 3.15 GAA and a .902 SV%. At the time, it appeared as though Sparks was ready to become a regular NHLer after posting a 31-9-1 record with the AHL's Toronto Marlies just one year prior, to go along with a 1.79 GAA and a .936 SV%. Well, as fate would have it, he was not ready and has played just 3 NHL games since, in Vegas and Los Angeles.
Well, it appears as though Dubas still sees something in Sparks, as he has inked the minor league goaltender to a 1-year AHL contract on Tuesday with Wilkes-Barre/Scranton.
Sparks spent much of his season last year in the ECHL with the Orlando Solar Bears, though he did manage to sneak into 3 games for the Springfield Thunderbirds in the AHL, going 1-2-0, with a 2.38 GAA and a .924 SV%. Perhaps Dubas believes this is closer to what Sparks is as a goaltender than the 3.45 GAA and .887 SV% that he posted in the ECHL across 14 games last season.
All things considered, this is a puzzling move by Dubas, but we do know that he enjoys his projects. Maybe he thinks he can help rebuild sparks and help him find his former glory. However, now 30 years old, I don't know what Sparks' ceiling even looks like at this point. It can't be very high at this stage of his career.