Maple Leafs send Sparks to Golden Knights for Clarkson, pick

Elliotte Friedman joined Prime Time Sports to talk about the Maple Leafs trading away goaltender Garret Sparks to the Vegas Golden Knights, with David Clarkson’s contract coming back.

David Clarkson is headed back to Toronto.

The Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Clarkson’s contract and a fourth-round pick in the 2020 NHL Draft from the Vegas Golden Knights in exchange for goaltender Garret Sparks, the team announced Tuesday.

The Leafs are projected to have a cap hit of $82,234,699 — $734,699 above the $81.5-million ceiling — according to CapFriendly, but can potentially exceed the threshold by as much as $10.55 million if they place injured forwards Nathan Horton and Clarkson on LTIR.

Clarkson signed a seven-year, $36.75-million deal with the Leafs in the summer of 2013, but only recorded 26 points across 118 games for his hometown club. Clarkson was traded to the Blue Jackets in exchange for Horton in 2015. He suited up in just 26 games in two seasons in Columbus.

Clarkson was acquired by the Golden Knights ahead of the 2017 expansion draft.

Clarkson and Horton — who carries a seven-year, $37.1-million contract — are both in the final years of their deals.

Sparks, 26, posted 3.15 goals-against average and .902 save percentage as the Leafs backup last season.

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