On Friday, the team announced that both will be out through the holiday break at a minimum, according to The Canadian Press’s Stephen Whyno.
That means the earliest the Leafs could have them back in the lineup would be a Sunday, December 27 road game against the New York Islanders.
No specifics have been offered on either injury, but Mike Babcock did call these “long term” injuries following Thursday’s game. If they’re both back next Sunday it’ll be a rather short “long term.”
The injury to Sparks means that Jonathan Bernier will be given the net once again, despite being allergic to wins. He has yet to record a win this season, going 0-8-3 through 11 games while posting an .883 save percentage. Reimer is 7-4-4, while Sparks is 3-1-0.
Spaling’s absence will hurt the rather thin team as well, despite the fact that Spaling has been snakebit. He has no goals and four assists through 24 games. Last year he put up nine goals and 27 points for the Pittsburgh Penguins.
Dustin Nelson is the News Editor for The Hockey Writers. He’s a contributor to Hockey Prospectus, Hockey Wilderness, and writes a column for Rotowire. He’s also written for Gone Puck Wild, Wild Xtra, InDigest, Electric Literature, The Rumpus, Tiny Mix Tapes, Prefix Magazine & other publications. Have a tip? Email him at dlukenelson[at]gmail[dot]com.