This is how things can change in a relatively short period of time.
Two weeks ago exactly, Eamon McAdam began the day fifth on the Toronto Maple Leafs’ netminding depth chart. But Monday night, McAdam dressed as Garrett Sparks’ backup against the Los Angeles Kings.
The 24-year-old McAdam, the winner in the Newfoundland Growlers’ first-ever game Friday night at Mile One Centre, was recalled by the Maple Leafs earlier Monday.
Toronto’s No. 1 goalie, Frederik Andersen is day to day with a knee injury, prompting the Maple Leafs to summon McAdam.
The job might have gone to Kasimir Kaskisuo, who is with the AHL’s Toronto Marlies, but the Finnish netminder is hurting, too. Meanwhile, Jeff Glass, the Marlies’ other goalie, is on a minor-league deal. He can’t play for the Maple Leafs unless he is signed to an NHL contract.
McAdam is the only other goalie in the organization on an NHL pact, an entry-level contract he originally signed with the New York Islanders, who traded him to Toronto earlier this year.
There was a time not long ago the Maple Leafs were thick with NHL-contracted goalies, but they lost both Calvin Pickard and Curtis McElhinney to NHL waiver claims on Oct. 2
McAdam’s departure creates an immediate issue for the Growlers, who only have Michael Garteig on the roster as they prepare to take on the Adiriondack Thunder tonight at Mile One.
A remedy could be bringing back Brad Barone, who attended the Growlers’ training camp and performed very well in a period and a half of an exhibition game against the Brampton Beast in Deer Lake.
Barone, a 27-year-old Boston College product, has had short stints in the ECHL, but has spent most of his professional career in the Southern Professional Hockey League, most recently with Roanoke.
If the Growlers can’t secure Barone or bring him from Virginia in time, or find another pro goalie, they might have to look at a temporary local option.
That’s something AHL teams in St. John’s had to do from time to time over the years.
There also could be a solution on the Growlers’ coaching staff. Marek Benda, the team’s 29-year-old goaltending coach, played a couple of years in the QMJHL before some professional seasons in his native Czech Republic. Benda has also played senior hockey locally with Mount Pearl.