Late on Friday, as they are wont to do, the Leafs announced some news.
Pickard was put on waivers by Vegas earlier in the week, and went unclaimed. You may be wondering why the Leafs were willing to give up assets for Pickard (however weak), but not claim him for free. Presumably, they wanted to come out with 0 net contracts from the transaction. Since he has already cleared waivers and can be assigned to the AHL directly, trading for Pickard also means they don’t necessarily have to play him in the NHL, the way they would if he was claimed off waivers. The price for this flexibility is Lindberg and a 6th rounder.
Pickard is 25, listed at 6’1” and is from Winnipeg. He has three years of NHL backup experience.
Pickard was last seen having a rough year on the tire fire that was the 2016/2017 Avalanche, but he is a young goaltender who has had NHL success before. He certainly makes sense as a potential backup option, as the track record of incumbent Curtis McElhinney is weak, last year excepted.
Time will tell if he usurps that job, but he will likely be given the chance to do so. McElhinney can be waived without much issue. If a team claims him, that’s fine, but due to his contract (two years), it’s unlikely that happens, and his salary would be entirely buried in the AHL.
Lindberg recorded 16 points in 44 games with the Marlies last year, and was in a dogfight on the crowded Marlies roster for game-time. He will add to the organizational depth in Vegas, but it is unlikely he becomes a full-time NHLer at his age, with his AHL record. A 6th round pick is a 6th round pick. It’s a small chance to get a NHLer, and not much more.
While Pickard had a terrible year last year, look at his past two versus Curtis McElhinney’s output and the reason the Leafs would chose to add to their goalie depth with this risk-free acquisition becomes clearer. On less disastrous versions of the Avalanche, he turned in excellent performances in net.
So what do you think of the deal? Let us know in the comments. We will update this with more information as and when it comes out.
What do you think of trading for Calvin Pickard?
This poll is closed
I still wish they’d taken Malcolm Subban.
Has he been assimilated yet?