Sports Hockey

Maple Leafs suspend Marlies goalie Garret Sparks for online comments

By Lance Hornby, Toronto Sun

Marlies goalie Garret Sparks was suspended by the Maple Leafs organization for comments he made in an online forum. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Files)

Marlies goalie Garret Sparks was suspended by the Maple Leafs organization for comments he made in an online forum. (Stan Behal/Toronto Sun/Files)

TORONTO - 

Garret Sparks has been one of the most active and engaging of the Maple Leafs and Marlies on social media, but now his candor has cost him.

The goaltender has been suspended indefinitely after inappropriate language was exchanged in an online group earlier this week.

“He was sent home for some team policy reasons when we were on the road trip in (Albany, N.Y.),” coach Sheldon Keefe said after Saturday’s 4-1 win over the Utica Comets at the Air Canada Centre. “I’m familiar with the circumstances, but we’re not going to comment any further from there. (Leaf) management handled the situation.”

TSN reported that a Facebook goalie group for which Sparks is an administrator, had a member of the forum allegedly mock a disabled person. Sparks is said to have made threats against the person making the disparaging comments, in which the goalie also allegedly said the group member sounded “like a 13-year-old girl.”

Sparks was then taken to task for that comment by another chat participant for which he apologized.

Sparks, 23, appeared in 17 games for the Leafs last season, with a record of 6-9-1 and .893 save percentage. Sparks has played well in an injury shortened season thus far for the farm team, a record of 3-1-0 with a .918 save percentage.