With the news today that the Philadelphia Flyers have placed goalie Calvin Pickard on waivers, the Leafs can choose to claim him back if they want to.

If the Leafs make a claim, and they are the only team to claim him, he would be considered to have cleared waivers and they can send him directly to the AHL. Pickard’s time with the Flyers has been difficult, with his performance behind a defensively porous team coming up very short of expectations.

It seems unlikely that any team would claim him intending to play him in the NHL, even as a backup. But as an AHL starter, he has a proven track record, and a stint on the Marlies might just get him in a position to be considered as an NHL backup again.

The Leafs called up goalie Eamon McAdam to the Marlies when both Pickard and Curtis McElhinney were claimed away on waivers. McAdam was acquired in the Matt Martin trade, and is on an NHL contract, but he had been playing for the Newfoundland Growlers. The Growlers had to find a new goalie, and they signed Mario Culina, who has worked out as well as their original backup, Michael Garteig. Garteig has taken the starter’s spot and made it his with a .930 save percentage in 16 games. Culina as backup has a .940 in three starts. They don’t seem to need McAdam back very badly.

Meanwhile on the Marlies, McAdam has a save percentage of .896, which isn’t stellar, but is in good backup territory in the AHL. The problem is that Kasimir Kaskisuo, who has missed most of the season with an injury, has a .871 in seven games played. Jeff Glass, who was hired on an AHL deal at the time all the goalies vanished on waivers is struggling badly with .849 in ten games.

The question is: How healthy is Kaskisuo? Since he returned to the lineup, he’s only had one start, with McAdam continuing to carry the load. If Kaskisuo isn’t really ready, or if he’s just not got the goods to be an AHL starter, then getting someone who does might be worth it.

At only $800,000 in salary, Pickard won’t count against the salary cap in the AHL, and the Leafs have a very low 44 SPCs on the books right now, with only the prospect of one more being added in the near future.

So, claim him or not?

Should the Leafs claim back Calvin Pickard?

Yeah, why not?2131