Will Devils’ David Clarkson consider signing with hometown Maple Leafs?

Devils right winger David Clarkson loves coming home to Toronto.

“This is my favorite place to play,” he said of the town in which he grew up as a Maple Leafs fan.

But will Clarkson, who can become an unrestricted free agent after this season, think about signing with the Leafs to play in his hometown? He gets asked that a lot around here.

“You always have people who’ll ask you things and say things,” Clarkson said. “My focus is winning and doing what we did last year. I leave all that other stuff to (agent) Pat Morris. I just go out and play. Everything else is second to me. I want this team to be successful.

“My focus right now is right here (with the Devils). We’ve got to get this turned around. We have something special in here. I want to win. All those other things will fall into place in summertime.”

But he loves coming home.

“I do. It’s the place I was born and raised. It’s always fun to come home,” Clarkson said. “I grew up watching every one of these games with my dad, so whenever you get to come home and play against the place you’re from is always fun.”

He got to play in the old Maple Leaf Gardens in a charity game during the NHL lockout.

“I spent a lot of time at Maple Leafs Gardens in those seats with my dad cheering for the leafs so it was cool to get a chance to play there,” he said. “This summer when they had the event it was something that meant a lot to me because of that.”

62 Responses to Will Devils’ David Clarkson consider signing with hometown Maple Leafs?

  1. doorman says:

    I’ve been a huge fan of Clarson for years and he seems like a great fit with our new style. I hope we could be so lucky, but he won’t be cheap, that’s for sure.

  2. blaze says:

    4y 4.25m? I’m sure he would get more in FA but would he accept that. That is a pretty big salary for a guy who may or not crack the top 6. Either way he would add some actual toughness to the top 9.

  3. nordiques100 says:

    Gotta see who else is out there first come free agency.

    If a bigger name, aka Perry, Getzlaf, are out there, thats who the targets should be and the money should go to.

    On another topic, I wonder where Lupul will play?

    Frattin looks like he’ll be back tonight maybe. Either way, its likely he joins Kadri and MacArthur.

    I can see Komarov return with the Euro’s and lead to McClement centering the 4th line again. Komarov would have to be bumped from the top 9 when Lupul gets back.

    Lupul shoots right, so i wonder if Carlyle moves him back there rather than have him play his off wing and joins Kulemin and Grabovski.

    It would mean though he would have to take on defensive responsibilities as well as do his usual scoring. That is the Leafs checking line sort of. Would he accept this role? I think its an interesting side story coming up when he is healthy enough to return.

    I think he’ll embrace it. But i think he really prefers playing the left side and obviously would love to play with Kessel. I think though Carlyle likes to have RH guys on the right and Left on left like his D.

    Its something the Bruins do and a lot of other teams are copying. Mostly targeted towards defense. Easier to get pucks out and stuff playing your correct side.

    I guess it depends on how well the top line of Bozak, Kessel and JVR do for the next bit. If Lupul returns and they are doing ok but not great, he may get his top line spot back to give it a spark.

    • doorman says:

      Nords, I have thought of where Lupul should play as well. First off I don’t think he should lose his spot on Kessels line, because of injury. That being said it is hard to break up what well was working. They have fizzled a bit which could make putting Lupul back easier. Anyway I think he should play with Kadri & Frattin. He is almost the perfect limemate for those two. Put Mac & the USSR back together McClement with Orr & McLaren.

      • nordiques100 says:

        I thought of that too but again I go back to thinking Carlyle wants the RH guys on the Right side and Left on Left.

        Frattin, Kessel and Lupul shoot Right and MacArthur, Kulemin and JVR shoot left.

        I guess though putting him back on the top line helps him not have to worry about both getting use to new players and working himself back to game shape.

        He can just worry about keeping it simple, let Bozak and Kessel do the work. Its a “nice” problem to have

        • doorman says:

          I agree with how he sees and like the way a player shoots playing, however that Lupul has played with kessel and Bozak, indicates he is not against it either. I do see what you are saying though.

  4. LN91 says:

    I wonder if they will try JVR at center for a game…They might try it to see if they can deal Bozak as their is now a logjam at forward and Komarov deserves more than 3-minutes a night or press box.

    He’s our energy forward, he has more offensive skill then what he is showing…Happens to a rookie. Frattin only had 15-points last season.

    • LN91 says:

      JVR has 14 FW and 7FL. Big body, crashes the net, hard-working, quick and skilled.

      I’m willing to try it.

    • doorman says:

      I think if they are going to try Reemer at centre, it has to be more then a game. Nonis is smart and patient, he is probably running everything he sees and what Carlyle tells him and processing. If they try Reemer at centre I think they just need to trade Bozak. Who while I would not pay almost 4mil a yr to, would be missed more thenm most of us think, reliable faceoff guy. That being said do you try packaging Bozak and Phil? The rumor is still out there that nonis is listening to offers, which is different then shopping him, but you get the point.

      • nordiques100 says:

        The team is another Lupul/Frattin long term injury away from having Orr on the 3rd line again.

        So, it would have to be something really really significant, especially with the team not slumping, to go ahead and think about trading Bozak or whomever just to relieve the log jam.

        Only moving Komi or Liles makes the most sense with Gardiner on the farm and Mottau in an emergency.

        The team needs the forward depth. Really, Steckel would be the first one gone if it comes to that.

        • LN91 says:

          That is why you have the Marlies…

          I’m pretty sure Ottawa is surviving with the Binghampton Senators.

          The point of having Leafs prospect in the AHL is to allow them to develop and be called up upon during injury to give them a taste of the NHL game.

          I trust Eakins work down there, and all of his players are ready (forward or defence)are ready if an injury does occur.

          • nordiques100 says:

            Toronto lacks that kind of depth IMO.

            Zibanejad and Silvferberg are a bit more high end prospects than say Ashton or Colborne.

            Colborne is starting to pick it up now, but he had a poor 1st half during the lockout.

            Its a big misread to think Toronto has depth, they have a lot of bodies, they lack depth. quantity isnt equal to quality.

            Bozak is a quality guy, so is Mac. To get rid of them to fit in Lupul and assuming Colborne or Ashton or whomever could step in with ease is erroneous.

            Toronto needs as much help it can get. They can accomplish more, with more, not less.

            • doorman says:

              To be fair to Colborne, he played hurt through the last half of last year and with a broken thumb in the playoffs. He has said it wasn’t until the scar tissue started breaking up in his wrist around xmas he felt comfortable again. I said it even before i knew this I am not ready to give up on him. I think he could be a very capable #2 centre, IMO.

              • nordiques100 says:

                I didnt say i was giving up on him.

                I implied that I rather not put the season in the hands of more rookies.

                Especially if the veteran guys we would need to move to get them in there are actually contributing.

                and with so many of the leafs having an injury history, i rather have as many warm bodies as possible. And if it means leaving JC and CA w the marlies so be it.

                • doorman says:

                  True enough, my bad for lumping you in with those who have and they’re here, lol. However I don’t think Ashton is ready and RFL……I still haate that trade buddy, lol.

              • toronto77 says:

                I agree with you 100%. I said this last week, no matter how bad he is struggling, YOU DO NOT fuck around with a centremen of his size and skill. He may not be amazing with the marlies right now but is picking it up and was the player of the month last year in the month of October.

                I think he is a perfect no.2 , but next season we should ease him into the no.3 spot

                Trade Grabo and Bozak + in a package to acquire a no.1 centre men, then give Kadri the no.2 spot and Colborne the no.3.

  5. LN91 says:

    Early prediction, but watch Chicago to make a play for Bozak.

    They would love to get a little deeper at Center, and Bozak seems like a Joel Quennville guy. Faceoffs, hard-worker and will be a nice compliment to Toews and Bolland.

    Chicago did want Grabovski last year as well, but his new contract will probably kill that.

    They do have Center prospects that the Leafs might like. Mark McNeil is a name…Or maybe Philip Danault.

    I also think Chicago will target Riberio, but Bozak is a great fit for them as his salary is only 1.5 million and he could be re-signed cheaper then Riberio.

    Watching for the Hawks to target a 2/3 line center at the deadline…Kruger is good, but still young and they could become unstoppable.

    Also, great for the Hawks to draft Brandon Saad. That was the guy I wanted over Stu Percy. Is a nice fit for Toews.

    • nordiques100 says:

      While you could see value in getting younger, adding more prospects, I think there is equal or greater value in making the playoffs.

      Bozak and MacArthur for that matter are both UFAs. It is possible they leave for nothing if they aren’t traded.

      But, the team has to at some point start to think about winning now. Not necessarily winning the cup now, but winning a playoff spot at least.

      The value of playing in the playoffs is well invaluable. So many of the Leafs have limited to no playoff experience. It would be nice to get there.

      To put holes in the lineup just to risk not losing them via free agency is not worth it.

      I mean its not like Bozak/Mac are in the same league as a Perry or in previous cases a Hossa or Kovalchuk or Parise.

      Bozak has been so significant in terms of faceoffs and helping the PK. Mac is streaky at best, but seems like a nice fit on any line it appears. He is a good team guy too which is why he got an A.

      Now if there are interested parties for Liles, Komisarek, thats a bit different. But i probably wouldn’t now think about trading forwards in the top 9 without getting someone back.

      • doorman says:

        I think you can trade one of Bozak or Mac, depending who you think you have a better chance of resigning at a reasonale deal. Neither has any playoff experience, so i would trade one but probably not both, unless it is for a good return, not just the sake of recovering a meaningless asset. That being said I think that then is Mac. who is a lower value to resign, IMO. I think Komi is as good as gone, somebody will want him. Liles I think can get a better return then some think, but I am not completely convinced Nonis moves him. I think he gets a chance to play his way back onto the team.

  6. leafs_wallace93 says:

    – Kadri is the kid we going to take, is the kid you want?

    – *lisp* yeah *lisp*

    – Well too bad we’re taking him.

  7. leafs_wallace93 says:

    If we beat Boston tomorrow and that’s a big if, I’m thinking this has taken the next step.

  8. mojo19 says:

    If we win tomorrow we’ll be in 1st in the East. Granted Montreal and Boston would have games in hand, but we’d be in damn good shape.

  9. mojo19 says:

    I would definitely not complain if we got Clarkson in under $5 million somewhere. $4.75 would be the absolute most, $4 even would be ideally, anywhere in that range, say for 4 or 5 years it would probably take to get him signed.

    I feel like he’s a guy who would fit right in with our style of hockey. He drops the gloves, scores goals, hits hard, and he definitely looked good in the run to the Cup last year.

    • leafs_wallace93 says:

      Shades of Gary Roberts? Clarkson could make Kulemin expendable, Kules would probably be enough to land either Geztlaf or Perry’s rights on draft day.

  10. mojo19 says:

    Bought a Jay McClement jersey a couple weeks ago, definitely not regretting it. Got it with the “A” as well. I love the way this guy plays hockey.

  11. leafy says:

    If the Leafs win tomorrow against Boston, then bring on the aliens.

    With due respect to Chicago, I think Boston is the best team in the NHL. (don’t laugh)

    • LN91 says:

      They are the best in the East for sure, waiting for a lafleur comment but they are still the class of the conference.

      The one issue on the B’s is the third-line. Chris Bourque is a good guy, but Kelly-Peverley don’t look the same without a talent like Benoit Pouliot or Michael Ryder.

      Adding Afredsson would be huge…Or maybe adding Morrow/Clowe for that line.

  12. LN91 says:

    Good for Toronto to win this game, because tomorrow will be another Bruin beatdown in Beantown.

    • mapleleafsfan says:

      Agreed. Good for the win but we sucked in the third. We are brutal at clearing the puck and a high pressure team like Boston is going to run all over us. Last game was 1-0 but we were playing much better then.

      Hope Frattin is back. Having him means moving McClement to the fourth – which actually makes a huge difference. Makes the fourth line a lot more solid – Steckel stinks.

      Komarov slots into that Grabo line and even though they stink offensively, Kulemin and Komarov are solid along the boards and can clear the puck. Only really weak defensive line then is the kessel line (and my god do they suck at clearing it).

      • nordiques100 says:

        Well a win is a win even if it is ugly as you can get.

        The Leafs went 7-5-0 in the first quarter, 8-4-0 in the 2nd quarter.

        I think 56 points makes it so if they maintain a 7-5-0, 7-5-0 pace the rest of the way, they’re in.

        They do though need to tidy themselves up on D. I think in the 2nd half, Gardiner will be a factor at some point. His puck moving skills are just too good to keep down. Its just hard to figure out which one of the D takes a seat.

        The game vs Boston is all about compete. They will need to bring their lunch pail for 60 minutes tonight. Hopefully the giveaways are out of their system. At least it gave some good ammo for Carlyle to rip them and keep the ego’s down.

        • leafy says:

          Nords, I don’t buy that logic “a win is a win”, unless we’re talking about a crucial playoff game.

          During the course of an entire season, I strongly believe that how you play determines where you’ll finish in the standings.

          • nordiques100 says:

            you’re going to win ugly games. You will never play superior hockey for 48 games or 82 games all year however long the season may be.

            Sometimes you have to win these ugly ones.

            Just like you have to have a few lucky wins too.

            You’ll have these games at times. And they did fairly well in the first 2 periods. It balances out the games like Vs Buffalo in their home opener. They dominated the Sabres in every way except finding a way to beat Miller more than once. They lost.

            You take the 2 points and you throw out the video and get the players back on board to the plan.

            I wouldn’t be overly concerned. The team had a bad period. It will help them give them something to learn about. But really thats it. To make it bigger than it really is would be a waste of energy.

            • leafy says:

              I didn’t say they need to play superior for 48 games.

              I’m saying that the Leafs have rarely, if ever, played a full solid 60 minutes this year. They are very good for stretches of a game, and then seem out of it for lengthy stretches.

              Don’t you watch the games carefully anymore?

              • nordiques100 says:

                Montreal winning 6-0 was a superior effort all around.

                I thought the Philly game they were dominant for 59 minutes. But you could say too the Flyers were flat other than the first minute of the game.

                the Buffalo game they lost they were pretty good. the other Buffalo game at home they won they fared really well.

                I thought they were strong too in their win vs Pitt.

                Keep in mind too, other teams are good, so they will you know, score on the leafs at times.

                I guess lets all hope then the Leafs die the next 10 games so that you can be proven right.

              • LN91 says:

                I don’t think the Leafs have played well since that win against Florida…

                Even the wins vs. New Jersey, Philly, NYR, and Ottawa were ugly.

                They were outshot 41-27 without Spezza, arguably the best player in the league Karlsson, and their #1 goalie. Also, Coewen

        • mapleleafsfan says:

          I’m with Leafy here. A win isn’t a win if you are stringing together “lucky” wins for a stretch. Remember early last year. We were on a tear and many people were saying a win is a win but we were getting shelled every night (and somehow winning). It eventually caught up to us. Luckily we are a better team this year with better goaltending and a shortened season but if we keep playing like the past few games they won’t be wins for that much longer. That said this is just a pessimistic out look from the past few games. To start the season we were dominating some games and definitely deserved to win. I just feel the past few games are wins Ron Wilson would be really proud of. I hope Carlyle sends a message. My heart can’t handle those last period collapses.

          • doorman says:

            See and I see what nords is saying and agree win is a win period. Sometimes you lose games you played well enough to win and sometimes you pull out a questionable win.

          • JoelLeafs says:

            Points are points, doesn’t matter how they come. I think we’re just jaded because we are so used to seeing the leafs on the other side of the equation.

            I can’t even count the number of times the leafs looked like Ottawa yesterday: playing well all game, deserve to win, try to mount a comeback too late, and ultimately fall to some poor goaltending.

            We’ve seen it so many times that we’re conditioned to taking the high road and claiming that it’s how you play, not the result. Fucking Carcillo scored the winner for the Hawks last night…. trust me, doesn’t matter how you win, as long as you put up the points; especially when teams routinely miss the playoffs by 3 points or less.

          • leafy says:

            MapleLeafsfan nailed it perfectly. Just look at last year. It PROVES you other dudes wrong because clearly the Leafs went south after a very good start when they were “getting the points”.

            • JoelLeafs says:

              Take a similar team that dove off the cliff at the end of a full season. Add a year of age and experience, add two goalies that are actually getting it done most nights, add some sandpaper and young talent. This isn’t the team from last year. It is foolish to be ignorant of history, especially recent history, but the Leafs are, IMO, a much more rounded team this year.

              I’m not saying they are a major threat, but I can easily see them making the playoffs and, depending who they draw, going a few rounds deep. One can always dream, right?

              • leafy says:

                Absolutely agreed we’ll make the playoffs. And that we’re better this year in many respects.

                The best sign is that we rarely lose more than 1 game in a row.

                I’m just assessing them on whether they’re ready for prime time, i.e., to compete with the “big boys”. I don’t think we’re quite there yet, but definitely moving in that direction. In the playoffs, however, I think ANY team in the East is beatable except Boston. So you never know.

                • JoelLeafs says:

                  We’ll see tonight, I suppose.

                  If Montreal is considered a serious threat, I have to think the leafs are. Beyond having as better keeper, the Habs are in a somewhat similar position as the Leafs. Teams getting better, and with this weird short season, who knows what can happen.

      • leafy says:

        I also agree with LN91. We’re winning, but we’ve very rarely seen a solid stretch of 60 minutes of good hockey. They seem very good for some stretches and then out of it for other stretches.

        So what’s the difference from last year? Goaltending. It’s as simple as that.

        • JoelLeafs says:

          Good teams win. judging by the shortened season, I’m very close to being ready to call the leafs a good team. unless they take a characteristic late season dive, I think they are on the road to being a perpetual playoff contender (I know, I am getting far ahead of myself, but I’m optimistic).

          Hawks almost lost the streak to Columbus, needed more than 60 to get it done. That wasn’t pretty, but good teams find a way.

          You’re line of reasoning is much easier to accept when a team is bad and sometimes squeaks out ugly wins, but the leafs have been pretty good and the odd ugly win is fucking icing in my books.

          • leafy says:

            That’s what people said last year when we were winning early on…”a win is a win”, blah blah blah…and then we saw what happened, right?

            But anyway, I agree the shortened season is different.

            Like I mentioned above, the goaltending has been there this year, last year it wasn’t.

            • JoelLeafs says:

              Goaltending, definitely, but I think they are also getting a major boost from rotating the lines more and getting a bit more consistency out of the defence (granted, they couldn’t clear shit in the Third against Ottawa, this season has been a much improved effort).

            • nordiques100 says:

              Goaltending is big, but also coaching as well.

              You can see something really building with the Leafs. I think one of the more important things is that they actually have an identity.

              They didnt have one last year. The coach just threw players out there and hoped for results.

              The GM slapped together 20-25 guys, and the coach didn’t use the 20-25 guys he got.

              There is a plan here this time around. They have a team that finishes checks. they play tough. A coach who is dogged at matching lines. And he is succeeding in the line matching to put players aka Kadri in the best positions to succeed and for the team to succeed.

              I think too, no one player, coach, GM or thing is bigger than the logo on the front. Having some pride in wearing the Maple Leaf is big.

              Toronto had no pride last year.

              This team, while looking the same is so much different than last. You can’t compare it.

              And with this being such a young team its going to have its inconsistencies. Carlyle though is so so tough on them that I believe they’ll grow out of it.

              I really like how he constantly teaches the guys. even during the game. He is really hands on. That was one of WIlson’s big problems. His no care attitude towards it all.

            • JoelLeafs says:

              The intangibles are certainly a factor. By that I mean that the teams seems less prone to giving up on games, or getting completely out of it after that second goal of a two goal lead against. I feel like that Ottawa game is exactly the type of game the Buds would have lost last week. Had Ottawa come back within one twice in multiple times in the third last year, I feel like they would have stopped playing and lost before OT.

              I’m sure a part of that is coaching, but I have to credit it equally to a team with an extra year of maturity and having more wins under their belt, expecially wins after guys like Reimer, Lupul, Frattin, and Gardner go down to injuries.

              Either way, things are looking up, and my advise to people born in 1991, for example, is to enjoy it. It may last and it may come crashing, but for the time, we may as well enjoy watching out team collect a few Ws.

  13. realistic_leafs_fan says:

    BB does deserves credit here. As I said for 3 years, I liked most of his moves, but Wilson needs to go. Think about where this team could have been if Wilson was fired after season 2. THIS is what BB envisioned.
    I’ve wanted Clarkson for a couple of years, but some contracts would have to move to accomodate. He will probably get $4-$4.5.

    Best spot for Lupul is on the right side with Grabo and Kulimen.IMO It will add offence to that line and change the dynamic furthering pressure off of Kadri’s line.

    MacArthur will likely be traded because we already have enough similar players. Exact same reason I said Brown would be traded for a pick. Leafs will want to clear some bodies, contracts and cap space. Komi(if there is a taker) and MacArthur(if the return is right) are good as gone.IMO

    I think the leafs would like to have
    JVR Bozak Kessel
    Kulimen Grabo Lupul
    Komarov Kadri Frattin
    McLaren McClement Orr
    Steckel(for size and face-off ability.)

    A roster player will most likely be added via trade so depth will be there. Veterans like Hamilton, Connolly, Ziggy could be called up if needed.

    I keep thinking Edmonton could use some veteran D help. Anyone see a deal like
    Liles for Whitney,2013 2nd

    • doorman says:

      See and I would prefer to see Lupul with Kadri & Frattin if he isn’t on the first line again. I think he could be exactly what these young fellas need. He would open and create space for frattin and an extra scoring option for Kadri to dish to.

      • JoelLeafs says:

        I don’t know, as much as I like the idea of giving the kids top minutes, rolling the lines as Carlyle has been of late forces teams to choose who to shut down. Having the the Dream on 2nd and 3rd lines gives him space, and if the opponent should choose to try and shut him down, they are stuck leaving the top line to contend with less elite defenders. I like having creativity, skill, and a hot stick lower down in the lines. Certainly makes the matchup game a lot more difficult.

    • nordiques100 says:

      His legacy many will point to the Kessel deal. But that to me wasn’t the problem.

      I think his biggest and unforgiveable fault is keeping Wilson.

      • doorman says:

        Burke did lots of good here no doubt. However, as you and everyone else pointed out his biggest asset which is his fierce loyalty was also his biggest downfall. Wilson should never have made it out of season two let alone three, IMO. You can how many teams have him on the short list of coaching candidates, lol, oh wait they don’t….why? Bacuse the guy is a TOOL!!!!.

  14. lafleur10 says:

    sure hope marc bergevin makes a play for clarkson he’d be a perfect fit on our team he’d be another good signing like prust was.

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