MacArthur, Schenn on Leafs’ sign-or-trade list
Given his druthers, Clarke MacArthur would rather remain a Toronto Maple Leaf.
But deciding what to do with the team’s leading scorer, heading into Monday night’s game against the Kings, may well be on top of general manager Brian Burke’s to-do list, followed by re-signing defenceman Luke Schenn and deciding what the trade value truly is for some of his most-sought players including Francois Beauchemin.
MacArthur, 25, could become a restricted free agent in July and the Maple Leafs have to make a call: re-sign him and make him part of the solution, or trade him by the deadline and get an asset in return.
“I don’t know what’s in store for me, but obviously I’d like to stay,” said MacArthur. “I’ve had a lot of fun this year. Winning is something we need to do more of, but I feel like this team could do that in the future. I would love to stay.”
MacArthur, who signed for one year at $1.4 million (all dollars U.S.), has had a breakthrough season on a line with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin. He has put up points consistently this season, while his track record shows a tendency to score in bunches.
“This is the first year where I’ve got to play with the same couple of linemates all year,” said MacArthur. “I’ve really got back to just enjoying playing hockey again. I’ve got to know those guys. Playing with them has done great things for me and made coming to the rink much easier.”
There have been no contract talks between the Leafs and MacArthur’s agent, Tim Hodgson.
“I can’t comment on what expectations might be as far as talks go; that’s something that I’d have to speak to Brian Burke about,” said Hodgson. “I haven’t had any conversations with Brian (about) where they see him fitting in the long term.
“Clarke has developed some chemistry with his two linemates, and he enjoys playing with them and they’ve put together a pretty consistent and reliable season so far. Hopefully they can continue it.”
Assistant GM Dave Nonis wasn’t giving out any secrets after Monday’s morning skate.
“With Clarke, like with any player, you want to make sure they are going to be part of the solution for us: What’s the dollar figure going to be? What’s the term going to look like?” said Nonis. “We haven’t gotten to that point yet.