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Sitting David Clarkson

from Chris Johnston of Sportsnet,

The situation has already turned awkward and seems destined to become ugly.

Not yet two full seasons into a monster seven-year deal, neither David Clarkson nor the Toronto Maple Leafs can believe where they find themselves right now.

Clarkson was nowhere to be seen when the Leafs ended an 11-game losing streak on Saturday night after being made a healthy scratch. That could soon become a trend with interim coach Peter Horachek hinting that he’s inclined to stick with the same lineup against the New York Rangers on Tuesday.

While it’s not unprecedented to sit a well-paid NHL player — Clarkson’s $5.25-million cap hit is tied for third-highest on the team — it is unusual to do so when he has this much term remaining on his deal.

“I don’t really look at the contract,” Horachek said after Monday’s practice. “I know it, I understand the political ramifications of everything that goes on. I have to try to push myself into just staying as a coach and doing what I think is best for the team.”

This is where it becomes tricky.

continued

Filed in: NHL Teams, Toronto Maple Leafs, | KK Hockey | Permalink
  Tags: david+clarkson

Comments

TreKronor's avatar

I wonder if Toronto could find a trade partner if they retain some of his salary.  It’s been a lose/lose for TO and DC the past couple years.

Posted by TreKronor on 02/09/15 at 05:07 PM ET

DocF's avatar

I certainly hope that the teaming masses of Detroit Red Wings fans that bitched about Ken Holland not being willing spend outrageous sums to sign David Clarkson are reading this report and digesting it.  He is so very average that he is probably a 2.5 million dollar player.

I counseled against signing him.  I guess I am doing I told you so right now.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 02/09/15 at 05:27 PM ET

Avatar

I counseled against signing him.  I guess I am doing I told you so right now.

As a side-note Weiss is outscoring Clarkson this season even though he’s played half the games and has been struggling with injuries for years.

Posted by neffernin on 02/09/15 at 05:36 PM ET

Avatar

I don’t remember anyone clamoring for Clarkson, but I could be wrong. Then again, I think I joined the site mid-2013, so that could be why.

The bigger question is: how does Dave Nonis still have a job? Or, I suppose it could be difficult and maybe an unwritten rule to take another team’s front office people during the season, so Nonis could be/probably is a lame duck.

You just see these deals where you’re taking assets (players, money) and turning the assets into toxic waste. Like, all three of Toronto’s highest-paid players could be immovable contracts. I guess Kessel has value and could probably be traded for serious assets and the team wouldn’t have to eat any $. Phaneuf - if Toronto wants full value in terms of assets coming back, I wouldn’t be surprised if they eat $. I just don’t see a team taking on six years of Phaneuf at $7M and paying a high price as well.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/09/15 at 05:48 PM ET

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I don’t remember anyone clamoring for Clarkson, but I could be wrong.

No one was bitching about Holland not putting up for Clarkson. Your memory is fine. Apparently we all owe DocF a big congratulations, however.

Posted by godblender on 02/09/15 at 07:31 PM ET

DocF's avatar

After the 2011-12 season, when he was supposedly a hot free agent, there was quite a clamor to sign this guy; after all he was a 30 goal scorer.  Of course, he is currently and has been for his whole career an 11 goal scorer.  The uproar was especially pronounced on the Mlive discussion boards.  I may be old, but my memory is still very good.  The people who inhabit this board tend to be more civil and more intelligent.  Perhaps this is a reflection of Paul and George.

Posted by DocF from Now: Lynn Haven, FL; was Reidsville, NC on 02/09/15 at 08:17 PM ET

alwaysaurie's avatar

The bigger question is: how does Dave Nonis still have a job? — VitoLambruski.

The all-too-obvious answer: It turns out that Shanahan sucks as a President. Not firing him Day-1 was a mistake. Choosing instead to fire his 2 hand-picked assistants was not merely a mistake it was non-sensical. If a GM isn’t good at fulfilling his primary duty(hiring well, firstly hiring good asst GM’s) there’s no reason to keep him.

Well… let me re-phrase that: there’s no GOOD reason to keep him.

Posted by alwaysaurie on 02/09/15 at 08:34 PM ET

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Aurie, I want to withhold judgment for now, but I suspect you’re probably right. My thought since he took over has been: The guy is in over his head, no matter how smart he is. I don’t see it being successful to make the jump from never working in team operations to running the largest, most valuable, most scrutinized team in the world. He’s in the eye of the hurricane with no previous experience. Generally speaking, that doesn’t often work out well.

Posted by VitoLambruski on 02/10/15 at 09:29 AM ET

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Paul Kukla founded Kukla’s Korner in 2005 and the site has since become the must-read site on the ‘net for all the latest happenings around the NHL.

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