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Clarkson to wear reverse of Wendel Clark’s number

Jul 13, 2013, 5:00 PM EDT

David Clarkson jersey

David Clarkson is wearing No. 71 this season for Toronto.

That number is the reverse of Wendel Clark’s famous No. 17 that he wore, and made legendary, during his time with the Maple Leafs. One thing that won’t do is stop the comparisons being made between their styles of play.

As James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail shares, the comparisons are unfair to Clarkson. Even the man himself says Clark’s legacy is tough to live up to.

“I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t live up to what he has done. To me, [wearing his jersey] was a childhood thing,” Clarkson, who grew up in Toronto, said.

That’s the right thing to say and should be taken for what it’s worth. Then again, the first time he scores a goal on a scrum in front of the net and beats up an opponent for trying to stop him, the talk will return with a fury.

At least there are no Quebec Nordiques to trade him to in heartbreaking fashion later on. Not yet, anyhow.

(picture via @RealSports on Twitter)

  1. paulsdeepdotcom - Jul 13, 2013 at 5:49 PM

    Why do Leafs fans torture themselves? Wendel Clark scored more than 20 goals four times, more than 30 goals three times, and more than 40 goals once. David Clarkson scored 30 goals once, this past season, as a 29-year-old. Other than that, he’s been a 15-18 goal guy. They may be similarly sized and play a similar style, but don’t expect David Clarkson to be Wendel Clark (or to live up to that contract.)

    • hockeyflow33 - Jul 13, 2013 at 5:51 PM

      It’s Toronto, logic isn’t going to work

      • dueman - Jul 13, 2013 at 7:03 PM

        The fans aren’t the ones making any claims. The media are the ones making the comparisons! Why is it when any media outlet says something stupid, people think it’s the fans? Most of us Toronto fans also think that the media comparison’s are stupid.

    • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:06 PM

      No one is putting the pressure on him. Ever since he signed with Toronto he’s been talking about how he was a huge Wendel Clark fan growing up, how he’s always tried to play the same style of hockey as Wendel Clark. He’s excited to be a Leaf and he chose his number. #23 was available. But he wanted to do an ode to Wendel.

      Not sure what the big deal is.

    • sunderlanding - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:17 PM

      I don’t think any Toronto FANS actually said this guy was the next Wendel Clark. We just appreciate the fact that he likes to play the same style. People in Toronto like that style of hockey, and are excited that the team is moving in that direction. Don’t know what the big deal is.

  2. quizguy66 - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:05 PM

    Tribute to Kovalchuk


  3. montrealbbr - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:12 PM

    Its going to be funny when he scores 18 and people wonder when Wendel Clark is going to show up.

    • sunderlanding - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:18 PM

      It’ll be even better when Colton Orr knocks out the Habs again.

    • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 13, 2013 at 6:44 PM

      18 goals IS in the Wendel Clark range. People seem to think Clark scored 30-40 goals every year, he only did it a few times in his entire career. He was usually scoring in the range of 20 goals 45 points.

      You really think Clarkson can’t do that? People act like he’ll be playing like he was when NJ had him on the 3rd line… He’ll be playing with Kadri and JVR or Lupul. He’ll do just fine.

      I think it’s hilarious (and so typical of Leafs haters) that before the UFA market opened, everyone wanted David Clarkson. He was one of the most highly desired RW before the July 5th…. Then the second the Leafs signed him, Clarkson became the most overrated player available and the most severly overpaid (even though he took a over a $1M pay cut to come to Toronto)

      • bronconation7 - Jul 13, 2013 at 9:45 PM

        I’m a Devils fan and have no hate (with the exception of Darcy Tucker) for your beloved Leafs. You hadn’t been to the playoffs in forever so whose wasting their time on hating you guys anyways? Seems like a waste of time.

        As for Clarkson, he was my favorite player and a true Devil and wish we could have kept him. On the flip side, if my Devils signed him to the deal he received I would have not been happy. The length and the amount are both ridiculous (yes, Clowe’s contract is nothing to brag about either). His deal just speaks to the absurdity and waste of time the lockout was. He is NOT a 5 mil a year player and certainly not for 7 years. His style is also not conducive to a long career. You’ll see next year. The amount of hits he takes, b/c of the way he gets his goals, doesn’t lead to longevity. You also have to know that he played on the PP and played with basically every player on the team. He’s a third line player that whenever we bumped him up to the top 6 (i.e. last year in the second half) he floundered b/c he was going up the best six of the other team. Matter of fact the more he scored, the more he thought he was actually a goal scorer and let up on some of the physical parts of his game. His dropping of the gloves and intimidating people seems to drop off. I guess he started to think he had goal-scorer hands.

        Well, Congratulations, Toronto! You paid 5 mil over 7 years for a versatile role player. Seems like a NY Rangers or Flyers move to me. Now those are two teams I’ll admit to disliking just a bit. Please take these comments about Clarky as less like “hate” and more like pity for your lack of scouting and willingness to overpay on an average talent. You overpaid for the prize of one of the worst UFA classes in the history of the NHL. That’s a reality.

      • tmlhockeyfan - Jul 13, 2013 at 10:33 PM

        Winning is more important than how much each guy makes. They still have plenty of cap space to build with and it’s not like the cap isn’t going to go up after this. $5.25 won’t cripple the team at all. I’d rather overpay Clarkson for what he can do, than keep overpaying Grabovski teven more money to sulk on the 3rd line.

        And there’s been way worse UFA classes than this years. This year there wasn’t really any all-stars available but there was a lot of good depth, 2nd/3rd line guys. There’s been worse. Remember when Tim Connolly was considered the 2nd best center available a few years ago? There’s hasn’t been a good UFA class in a long time.

        Enjoy Ryane Clowe and Michael Ryder. I’m happy with Clarkson and Bolland.

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