Many players have gotten that second chance for a second chance this past week. Unsigned veteran players can earn a contract with an NHL team by impressing enough in training camp on a professional tryout contract (PTO) and so far 18 veterans have agreed to PTO deals in order to earn that full-time contract.
The seven teams that did not take part in the Return to Play plan this summer opened training camps days ago with the remaining 24 clubs about to open their tomorrow. The regular season will begin Jan. 13.
As David Pagnotta of The Fourth Period points out, 18 players have accepted PTOs and will fight to crack the respective roster listed here below:
Arizona: Frederik Gauthier, Zane McIntyre, Jordan Schmaltz
Buffalo: Riley Sheahan
Calgary: Garret Sparks
Columbus: Michael Del Zotto
Edmonton: Devin Shore, Ryan Stanton
Florida: Kevin Connauton, Scott Darling
Pittsburgh: Jordan Nolan
San Jose: Jayson Megna
St. Louis: Mike Hoffman
Tampa Bay: Boo Nieves
Washington: Craig Anderson
Winnepeg: Cole Kehler, Trevor Lewis, Jimmy Oligny
Several goalies have accepted a PTOs to earn a contract with an NHL team such as Garret Sparks, Scott Darling and Craig Anderson.
Anderson is getting a real chance in Washington as the Capitals are seeking a veteran backup for 23-year-old Ilya Samsonov after Henrik Lundqvist , who signed a one-year contract Oct. 9, said he won’t play this season because of a heart condition. The 39-year-old goalie was 11-17-2 with a 3.25 goals-against average and .902 save percentage for the Ottawa Senators last season and could be their saviour.
Darling last played in the NHL with th Carolina Hurricanes in 2018-19, is 54-42-18 with a 2.72 GAA and .908 save percentage in 126 games (112 starts) with the Hurricanes and Chicago Blackhawks. The 32-year-old is hoping for another shot, this time in Florida to put some pressure on Sergei Bobrovsky.
As for Sparks, he made 12 saves for the Vegas Golden Knights in relief of Marc-Andre Fleury during a 6-1 loss to the Avalanche on Oct. 25, 2019, his lone NHL game last season. He was 8-14-4 with a 2.75 goals-against average, .908 save percentage and two shutouts in 26 games for Chicago of the American Hockey League. He got traded to Vegas by the Toronto Maple Leafs on July 23, 2019 after two seasons in Toronto, where he was 14-18-2 with a 3.09 GAA, .898 save percentage and two shutouts in 37 games (34 starts). This could be the new start he is looking for.
We will keep you posted on these PTOs, who earned a spot and who will need to start looking at different options…
Source: Twitter · Photo Credit: Zuma Press