Toronto Maple Leafs acquire goaltender Calvin Pickard

LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 26: Brooks Laich
LAS VEGAS, NV - SEPTEMBER 26: Brooks Laich /

After clearing waivers on Friday, Calvin Pickard has been traded to the Toronto Maple Leafs. Now it’s a question of when, not if, he plays for them this season.

The Toronto Maple Leafs made their first trade of the season Friday, acquiring goaltender Calvin Pickard from the Vegas Golden Knights. In exchange, as reported by CBC Sports, the Leafs sent minor-league winger Tobias Lindberg, along with a sixth-round pick in 2018.

Pickard was the inaugural pick for the Golden Knights in the 2017 NHL Expansion Draft. The Winnipeg native was taken in the second round, 49th overall in the 2010 NHL Draft by the Colorado Avalanche.

Pickard played a career-high 50 games with the Avalanche last season. He finished the campaign with a 2.98 goals against average and a .904 save percentage.

Although his season with the NHL’s worst team left much to be desired, he did have a .938 save percentage in seven games with Canada at the 2017 IIHF World Championships.

Lindberg was one of the pieces that came back to the Toronto Maple Leafs in the Dion Phaneuf trade two seasons ago. He played in six NHL games with the Leafs during the 2015-16 season, where he had two assists.

He spent the rest of his time with the Toronto Marlies, where he had trouble at times carving out a spot for himself in the lineup.

As expected, the Golden Knights had some fun on Twitter with the trade:

Just after the trade, the Leafs announced that Pickard had been assigned to the Marlies for the time being.

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Immediately, questions have come up regarding the job security of Curtis McElhinney. The current Leafs backup had a rough preseason, after coming off signing a two-year, $1.7 million extension in the offseason.

Now, Mike Babcock has another option to help relieve the workload that starter Frederik Andersen will have to endure throughout the season.

If he does stay down in the AHL, however, the likely scenario is that Kasimir Kaskisuo would be sent down to play for the Orlando Solar Bears in the ECHL.

The tandem of Pickard and Garret Sparks in the AHL is highly intriguing. If they are the duo that Sheldon Keefe has throughout the season, the Marlies just got even better.

Pickard playing for the Toronto Maple Leafs this season is inevitable. The question now becomes when.

Next: 3 observations from Leafs' 7-2 win over the Jets

What are your thoughts on the Pickard trade? Where do you think he will spend the majority of this season? Let us know in the comments below.