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Garret Sparks to DJ at Lollapalooza in Chicago this July

Photos by Dinur Blum

Garret Sparks to DJ at Lollapalooza in Chicago this July

Garret Sparks is likely not a household name, anywhere. For a very brief period in time he was to the Toronto Maple Leafs what Erik Kallgren has been just two weeks ago.

A consistent American Hockey League goaltender for the Toronto Marlies, Sparks earned a call-up to the Maple Leafs for his first career NHL game on November 30, 2015. He shut out the visiting Edmonton Oilers in his NHL debut, but has only managed one more NHL shutout since. In fact, since the 2015-16 season, Sparks has only started 23 games.

After finishing his time with MLSE following the 2018-19 season, Sparks joined the Vegas Golden Knights in 2019-20. He has bounced around five professional clubs since, including the Chicago Wolves, Orlando Solar Bears, Stockton heat, Los Angeles Kings and Ontario Reign – to which he is currently a 5-5-0 backstop with a 3.25 goals against average and a .896 save percentage.

Despite it being his career choice, goaltending might not be in the cards much longer for the now 28-year-old Elmhurst, IL product.

Enter stage left, Bucky Cheds.

Who?

Well, at 10:00 AM on Tuesday, March 22, Chicago’s Lollapalooza unveiled its four-day festival lineup for July 28-31 at Grant Park, in Chicago. Below feature headlining names such as Green Day, Metallica and Machine Gun Kelly there was a list of 36 groups/artists serving as minor acts. Then below that was an eye doctor’s chart listing 127 backing acts which will clearly serve as mid-morning acts and very, very early openers for the more well-known performers.

At the very end of the 171-artist reveal is the name Bucky Cheds.

Lesser-known than Garret Sparks – to which would make a sensational DJ name at that – Bucky Cheds is, in fact, Garret Sparks, in the flesh.

Living out his hobby-turned-musical passion, Sparks has begun a career as a musical disc jockey.

He actually discovered his love for musical mixing back in Russia while competing at the 2013 IIHF World Junior Hockey Championship. He began preparing pre-game warmup and dressing room pump-up mixes for his various clubs, including that of the Toronto Marlies, which used his tunes prior to each game during their Calder Cup-winning season.

Could Lollapalooza be Sparks’ big coming-out party? Because sub-par minor-league goaltending seemingly won’t cut it going forward.

Find out this July and stay tuned to Sparks’ social media pages for more information on his showtime.

Carter Brooks - Associate Editor of Game On Magazine - is a news writer and sports columnist situated in Winnipeg, MB. On top of reading and writing, his favourite pastimes include camping, car-modification projects and coaching hockey. Carter can be reached at carterbrooks1994@gmail.com or on Twitter at @GameOnHockey.

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