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Bozak, Clarkson contracts were big gambles for Nonis

Aug 8, 2013, 1:50 PM EDT

NonisDave AP

Toronto Maple Leafs day on PHT continues with a look at two big summer signings — will they pan out?

July 5 was a big day for the Leafs. First, the club announced it had re-signed center Tyler Bozak to a four-year, $21 contract extension. Then, not long after, former Devils winger David Clarkson agreed to a seven-year, $36.75 million contract.

In all, the club committed $57.75 million to the pair of forwards — a commitment that left many critics wondering if general manager Dave Nonis had spent his valuable cap space wisely.

Don Cherry, for one, was no fan of the Bozak deal.

“I can’t believe they re-signed him for that,” said Cherry. I mean, there’s a classic case of overpaying a guy. Ridiculous. He’s a plugger, he’s playing with (Phil) Kessel and he can’t get 20 goals.”

Others agreed with Cherry — so much so that Bozak, 27, was asked during a radio interview about all the negative things that had been said and written in the wake of his new deal.

His response?

“I’ve had two coaches (Ron Wilson and Randy Carlyle) that had the opportunity to not play me in that role and have, so if there’s a few fans on Twitter that still think I’m not able to play, I’ll take the coaches’ opinion over theirs every time.”

Meanwhile, the case against Clarkson centered around giving a 29-year-old with fewer than 100 career NHL goals a contract that runs through 2019-20.

Clarkson came to Toronto after scoring 97 goals in 426 career games for the Devils. His breakout year didn’t come until 2011-12, when he scored 30 times, with 16 assists and 138 PIM, in 80 games.

The Globe and Mail’s James Mirtle was critical of the contract in large part due to Clarkson’s age.

Clarkson is a particular kind of forward who plays a very physical game, often known as a power forward, and in recent years especially, they have been phased out rather quickly in their careers.

There aren’t a lot of 30-something power forwards, in other words.

The NHL has become much more about speed than brawn in recent years, with even so-called tough teams like the Boston Bruins having plenty of finesse and playmaking ability, as they showed against a slower Pittsburgh Penguins team.

But Nonis defended the length of the deal, saying he wasn’t concerned about the years at the end of the contract.

“I’m not worried about six or seven right now,” Nonis said. “I’m worried about one. And Year One, I know we’re going to have a very good player. I believe that he’s got a lot of good years left in him.”

He’d better hope so. Because for Nonis — who incidentally was just granted a new five-year contract — the performances of Bozak and Clarkson next season will be strongly tied to his own approval rating.

More Leafs day on PHT: Reimer vs Bernier — Who ya got?

  1. kaptaanamerica - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:23 PM

    Clarkson was signed for 5 mil per season and he only has one 20 goal season in his career the same number of 20 goals seasons as Mike Santorelli who signed with the Canucks for less than a million per year. both players are roughly the same height and Clarkson has more weight. Clarkson will likely fall back to his average of under 20 goals at around 12-16 for the year. The guy is highly over paid and had pushed the team against the cap for no good reason.

    Bozak is overpaid for a likely third liner on other teams.he cashed in with Toronto cuz no one else was likely going to give him more than 3.5 mill per season for 3 years.

    Nonis is a fail and he just got started.

    • dueman - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:47 PM

      LOL

      • kaptaanamerica - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:15 PM

        It is funny but not for leafs fans. Oh and hockey prospectus.com ranks lags as bottom five or so in the league for quality of their prospects.so it’s not looking good on that front either…

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:21 PM

      Pretty sure players get paid for more than just points and are you seriously bragging about Santorelli?

      I like how you scewed the stats to suit your cause on that one. Sure Clarkson only has one 20+ goal season… It was a 30 goal season. How many of those does Santorelli have? 30 goals is just about Santorelli’s career total.

      If you count last year Clarkson had 15 goals in 48 games. On pace for 25 in 82 games. Not bad. I’d rather let him try and prove himself than phone in the season like haters like you do. Santorelli had 2 goals in 35 games. That’s almost on pace for 5 in 82 games. WOW! You Canuck fans must be excited. Gillis is clearly a genius.

      • kaptaanamerica - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        No one is “bragging” about Santorelli.the point it’s that a ufa pick up for the Canucks fourth line or ahl club had as many 20 goal seasons as Clarkson. It just shows how over paid Clarkson looks when you consider his stats. The guy had played seven seasons to get that one season, and that with Elias in the line and power play. Clarkson will be a financial drag on the leafs right out of the gate. My point is Thai nonis had taken a marginal team and blew up its cap advantage for what? To finish out of the playoffs again? He’s not doing a good job at all.wait until he starts trading draft picks at the trade deadline.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:42 PM

        No, that just shows how clueless you are about hockey. It’s a terrible comparison. You could skew the stats in the other direction too… it’s just as dumb. Clarkson has more 30 goal seasons than Henrik Sedin.

        It’s funny you claim leaf fans refuse to look at things objectively, but you refuse to do it yourself. If you want to compare Clarkson to someone compare him to guys who play on 2nd lines.

        Valtteri Filppula signed with Tampa for $5M, he’s never had a 30 goal season. Nathan Horton has had one 30 goal season, he signed with Columbus for $5.3M. You’d think a guy who falls inbetween that would get paid somewhere between that… oh wait… Clarkson’s $5.25M… DOES!

      • kaptaanamerica - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:08 PM

        the point is Clarkson had a very limited body of work where he produced at the pace he’s being paid to produce at.chances are like Santorelli he’ll regress back to his mean. Clarkson isn’t worth the cap hit over the term he got.nonis has handicapped the team.he even admits he is only looking at next year.thinking this deal makes sense based on one or two years of production is silly.

        You can’t stand it that your team is mediocre and has cap strains already. The prospect pool is in the bottom third of the league according to hockey prospectus.com which is updated unlike hockey futures.Where will nonis improve the team and how considering the cap advantage he just blew away.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:03 PM

        He’s not just being paid to produce. He’s also paid to add toughness to the team, be a leader in the room. Again, I’d rather let him play and prove himself, than just assume he’ll fail for no apparent reason like you do.

        “You can’t stand it that your team is mediocre and has cap strains already.”
        When did I ever say that. The cap problem is a non-issue. It’s not that hard to make cap space. They can move one of several players if they have to. It’s not a big deal…. but for you drama queens… You act like this is the dagger in the heart of the franchise.

        The prospect pool is week because Kadri and Gardiner are no longer considered prospects. They were near the top the season before. You should try reading these websites you reference. You could learn something… and regardless of how good you think the prospect pool is, the Leafs are one of the youngest teams in the league.

        Leafs have a fine prospect pool. Morgan Rielly, Matt Finn, Tyler Biggs, Stuart Percy, Josh Leivo, Brad Ross, Greg McKegg, Jesse Blacker, Jerry D’Amigo… the Leafs can manage. No need to panic.

    • sunderlanding - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:27 PM

      You do realize he was on pace for close to 30 last year? Or maybe you forgot last year was only 48 games? Don’t worry you’ll figure hockey out soon enough.

    • scotloucks - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:13 PM

      But he has the job …. and you (who really doesn’t know very much, just think you do …. Do NOT.

      My guess would be Habs fan, they aren’t very bright on a good day.

    • withseidelinn - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:58 PM

      Why does it matter if Bozak is a third liner on other teams? He plays for the Leafs on their first line and has good chemistry with Lupul and Kessel. It works, end of story.

  2. dueman - Aug 8, 2013 at 3:53 PM

    Great Leaf day here on PHT – An article attempting to make Nonis look bad, and an article trying to promote a goalie controversy, and that’s it. Way to go guys – the media at it’s best!

  3. Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:35 PM

    So the Leafs STILL have to trade Liles to make cap room to sign a couple guys… My God, Let’s all panic. There’s ONLY two entire months to go before the season starts. I’m pushing the panic button, but nothing is happening!!!! Leaf haters and their drama crack me up. It’s only August 8th. If it was September 28th, then we’d have an issue.

    Bozak at $4.2 is not an overpayment. He’s one of the best faceoff guys in the league and is good for 50 points. He’s a good penalty killer too. People like to say he’d only a 2nd or 3rd liner on most teams… Well maybe thats why he’s getting paid like one. It’s a matter of time before Kadri steals the #1 center spot anyways. Last year wasn’t a fluke for Naz.

    As for Clarkson sure it’s an overpayment, but only by around $1M. Not the end of the world. I’d rather overpay Clarkson, who wants to be in Toronto, than keep paying Grabo to sulk on the 3rd line. The cap WILL be going back up, plus the Leafs have another couple million freed up when a couple buyouts and retained salaries are over with. Leafs will be fine.

    • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:32 PM

      Saying “Bozak is good for 50 points” is funny because he’s never hit that mark before, he’s trending that way in his career but to make it seem matter of fact when he’s never been there is a big assumption.

      Kadri may turn out to be the real deal but asserting that he’s no fluke based on a one year sample size is also an assumption.

      It may “only be $1 million” in overpayment but considering how close the Leafs are getting to the cap when they still have important players to sign I think they could use that $1 million, let me ask you this as a Leafs fan would you rather they have Clarkson for $5.25 per year and are scrambling to figure out a way to resign Franson and Kadri or would you rather have those two locked up for a few years?

      Yes the cap will be going up, but nobody knows by how much and the Leafs will also have to resign a couple of their key players which will likely nullify that.

      Let’s be honest here, lots of Leafs “haters” go to extremes when describing how bad it will be for the team, but lots of Leafs fans go to extremes in describing how great everything will be, the truth lies somewhere in the middle. IMO the Leafs are a middle of the road (6-11th) team in the conference as far as talent goes but I think they also have one of the best coaches in the NHL who will maximize what he has there and because of that I think they’ll remain relevant to the playoff conversation.

      • withseidelinn - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:59 PM

        He hit 47 pts in 2011-2012, and was on pace for exactly 50 this year in an 82 game season. What’s funny??

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:05 PM

        Again I said he’s trending that way in his career but to state that he’ll get 50 matter of factly is a huge assumption. It’s not that I’m saying he won’t do it but until he does it’s not a guarantee.

        Perhaps not taking everything said here as an insult towards the Leafs is in order here?

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:56 PM

        Bozak IS good for 50 points, it’s not that bold of an assumption. A 50 point pace in 82 games is .61 points per game. Last season Bozak was .61 ppg and the year before he was .64 ppg.

        Kadri is not an assumption based on 1 year. He’s been playing hockey for a while now. When NHL coaches are saying he reminds them of a young Doug Gilmour, he must be doing something right… but they’re just NHL coaches. What do they know?

        Clarksons contract isn’t the problem. The $1M wouldn’t be enough to help sign Kadri and Franson. They should have waited to sign Gunnarsson. That should have waited until Kadri and Franson were locked down. But even as it is, the Leafs aren’t in that big of a bind. It’s not impossible to trade Liles. If Komisarek can find a new home in the NHL, Liles sure can too.

        As for where the truth lies… I haven’t heard a single Leaf fan being unrealistic. It’s not like Leaf fans are acting like the team is a cup contender. I’m sure some are, Every team has those die hard fans. There’s nothing wrong with wanting them to win, but It gets really annoying how people act like there’s endless comments about the Leafs winning the cup.

        As for making the playoffs again, of course it’s tough, but there’s no reason to assume they will drop out of the picture like the haters do. There’s a natural progression for teams and players in the NHL. The Leafs are one of the youngest teams in the NHL and they finished 5th in the East. There’s no reason they can’t finish in the same vicinity in the standings. They’re only going to improve as players as they get more experience.

  4. billyhauntswizards - Aug 8, 2013 at 4:48 PM

    Clarkson contract is still a joke. It only wont be is he scores 25-30 goals a season. Also 7 years is terrible, players like him don’t last much longer than age 33-34.

  5. scotloucks - Aug 8, 2013 at 6:18 PM

    First off … Bozak.
    His numbers over the last couple years are similar to Gionta, Plekanec and Kessler …. all being paid 5m per year.

    So … what the critics are really saying including the totally out of touch Don Cherry is that Gionta, Plekanec and Kessler are all severely over paid.

    Fine..

    ——————

    As for Clarkson …. if the Cap was 10m higher (which it will be next year, his deal doesn’t look that bad. Other players that play his style of game are Brown in LA … Brown is older, more likely to be hurt with similar numbers over the last two seasons.

    Mirtle also wrote and article suggesting the Leaf fans (or somebody, he never identified them) were comparing Clarkson to Clark ….. I’m thinking MIrtle should enjoy his much needed VaKay.

    Cheers

    • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:19 PM

      I get your point about Bozak but you’re comparing him to far more established players who have had down years the past two seasons. So Bozak’s peak is as good as Gionta’s, Plekanec’s, and Kesler’s lows. Not to mention Gionta is 34, Kesler has had serious injury troubles recently, and Plekanec is a far more dangerous playmaker who hasn’t had the benefit of feeding off a sniper of Kessel’s caliber. I understand that the Leafs don’t have great center depth so keeping Bozak was somewhat of a necessity, but there’s no world Bozak isn’t overpaid. If NHL contracts weren’t rocketing out of control then Bozak wouldn’t be making more than 3mil/per- what he’s worth. He’s a 3rd line C on most clubs.

      As for Clarkson, there’s no justifying that contract. The cap will rise next year but not by $10 million, try 5-6. And Dustin Brown is not older than Clarkson, he’s 28. And Brown has had 46+ pts the last six full seasons. Clarkson has reached 46 points once in his career. Brown is a far superior player. And what indication do you have that Brown will be hurt? The dude’s played in atleast 78 games every season he’s been in the NHL (46 of 48 last season). You Leafs fans are going way too far out of your way to justify these contracts. The truth is Bozak and Clarkson will be solid contributors but they may cost you down the line. Nonis has to resign Franson, Kadri, Kessel, Phaneuf, Gardiner, Reimer, Bolland, Kulemin, McClement, and Fraser (again) over the next year. There’s just not enough cap space for that.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:43 PM

        Well said, a great reply that was completely factual and I believe maintained a neutral tone the entire way.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 8, 2013 at 8:58 PM

        No one is disagreeing that Clarkson is overpaid, but he’s not as overpaid as people are making it out to be. It’s maybe 1M too much, if that. Assuming he’s going to revert to how he was playing when NJ had him on the 3rd line is pretty short sighted IMO. He’s been a top 6 winger for the last two seasons and has been keeping up offensively.

        As for the Cap it will be going up. With all the outdoor games generating revenue it could be going up a lot. The Leafs also have money coming once they’re done with a few buyouts and retained salaries.

        The only players they need to worry about now are Kadri and Franson. The rest are not urgent at all right now.

      • scotloucks - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:46 PM

        Nice try …. but Bozak has had better numbers and is still getting better at all facets of the game.

        The other players mentioned had off years? Give me a break.

        As for Brown, they are technically the same age, why is Brown more injury prone? Because the arguement against Clarkson is that he won’t be able to keep up his style of play till the end of hsi contract … how old will Brown be at the end of his (higher) contract? They play the same style.

        As for Brown producing longer …. so what … you go against your first argument about Bozak. It’s what have you done for me lately kid …. which means last year and this year.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:42 AM

        Bozak is 27 years of age, his ceiling isn’t much higher. And 75pts in his last 119 games is nothing to write home about. Your whole point above was that bc Kesler, Gionta, and Plekanec have underachieved recently (on deals they signed awhile ago) that somehow Bozak’s contract is justified. Which is a ridiculous point to begin with. That’s without mentioning that Plekanec signed his 5mil/per contract after a 70pt season in 09-10. Kesler signed his 5mil/per contract on the heels of a 75pt season in 09-10 and promptly scored 41 goals the next year. And Gionta signed his 5mil/per contract after putting up 60pts in 08-09 then had consecutive seasons of 28 and 29 goals, respectively. Those guys actually earned their deals with long, productive careers.

        As for Brown, like I mentioned above, he’s never missed more than 6 games in his last 8 seasons. He’s remarkably durable. And I don’t think the main criticism of Clarksons contract is that his physical play will limit his production in years 5-7, it’s that he’s never done anything worthy of such a large contract to begin with. Yes someone would have given him a large deal if Toronto hadn’t but that doesn’t change anything. Dustin Brown is making slightly more but, besides being more durable, he’s been way more productive in the past and will continue to be more productive in the future. In the last six full seasons Brown has chipped in atleast 46 pts, Clarkson has reached that mark once. And if you wanna just look at the past two seasons, Brown is still more productive than both Clarkson and Bozak. Like I said before, Clarkson and Bozak will both be solid contributors this season, however their overpriced contracts could seriously hinder Nonis’ ability to keep the core together. Right now he already doesn’t have enough room for both Kadri and Franson, and next summer he’ll have to fit Kessel, Phaneuf, Gardiner, Reimer, Bolland, Kulemin, and a few minor pieces under the cap. It just wasn’t a smart move to give big money to those two guys, especially if it’s gonna cost the Leafs other talented pieces in the future.

      • scotloucks - Aug 9, 2013 at 12:43 PM

        That’s twice now ….

        You suggest that Bozak has peaked and that his ceiling isn’t much higher at 27.
        Players don’t reach their peak at 27 …. especially when they have only played 240 or so games at that level. Stating that Bozak has peaked suggests strongly you don’t know what you are talking about. But as a Philly fan and therefore a Leaf hater, I can’t expect much.

        As for the main criticism of the Clarkson contract … maybe you need to read more. The main criticism of the Clarkson contract (by Mirtle and others) was that he wouldn’t be able to keep up the tough part of his game for the last half of his contract.

        Other teams offered more money per year. The Leafs countered with Term.

        Brown has played with better players his whole time in the NHL.
        Clarkson was a fourth line player until a couple seasons ago.

        Any idiot knows that fourth line players don’t get the minutes, don’t play with skilled players and don’t rack up the points.

        You might want to take a look at your own team and start worrying about they handle the cap … they won’t make the playoffs again this year where the Leafs will probably have the second best record of all the Canadian teams (depending on how Vancouver handles their coaching change).

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 9, 2013 at 2:51 PM

        Wow you are seriously delusional. And I’m far from a Leafs hater. I actually enjoy watching the Leafs, especially JVR and Lupul. The criticism I have for these two moves are no different than most other fans or pundits. It has nothing to do with with my Flyers affiliation, it’s about using logic. And it seems the Leafs fans on this site will praise their front office no matter how much of a hole they dig.

        In the NHL, when you’re 27-28 you have reached your prime. It’s an age where most players begin to peak. Very few develop from role players to top-line performers past this point. Bozak’s ceiling appears to be as nothing more than 15-20 goal scorer. That doesn’t mean he’s a bad player, just not worth close to his cap hit. Is there a chance he becomes a 25+ goal guy and a 60pt producer? Sure, but it’s no sure bet. Matt Read, a similar player, is about the same age and has shown to be a valuable 3rd line scorer and two-way forward (much like Bozak). But at this point in his career it’s not likely that he will ever become more than a 20-goal, 40-50pt, defensively responsible forward. It doesn’t matter that he’s only been in the league for two seasons, it’s rare for a player his age to continue an upward development track. There are exceptions, sure (Mike Knuble comes to mind), but it’s not likely.

        And the same argument applies to Clarkson. Yes, early in his career he wasn’t playing top-6 minutes with skilled linemates. But going on 29 it’s pretty easy to grasp what kind of player he is. NHLers don’t usually get better with age once they start getting up around 30. Being a Flyers fan I’ve watched plenty of Clarkson over the years, and I can tell you he’s a solid power forward. But he’s not gonna score 30 goals a season. He’s just not. He’s gonna give you 18-22 well deserved goals, rack up penalty minutes, and knock players around. And that’s valuable. Just not valuable enough to warrant such a contract. He’s a poor man’s Scott Hartnell, who happens to be making more money.

        As for the Flyers, they will absolutely be a playoff contender this season and their cap situation isn’t as bad as it appears. They have most of their core pieces locked up on multi-yr deals, unlike the Leafs. They have Pronger’s LTIR exception of almost $5mil, and the expiring contracts of Timonen (6mil) and Meszaros (4mil) coming off the books. They will have plenty of space going forward. They were plagued by injuries a year ago and should have their young guys bounce back. Their forward group is one of the deepest in the NHL. Leafs fans may have a swelled head after making the playoffs for the 1st time in a decade but don’t kid yourself into thinking they’re leaps and bounds ahead of the Flyers, bc they’re not. Idc how they compare to other Canadian teams, there are more than just those teams to contend with.

      • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:31 PM

        Milan Lucic gets paid more to play almost exactly the same role that Clarkson will be. Good for around 20 goals, go to the net, throw some hits, etc. Lucic gets paid a lot more. Clarkson is overpaid too, but it’s not by all that much. Not enough to worry about now.

        Bozak is underrated, he may not get a lot of points, but he does a lot of good thinks. Lead the Leafs forwards in takeaways, faceoffs, he gets a good amount of hits for a center. He does a lot of dirty work to make room for Kessel do work his magic.

    • withseidelinn - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:02 PM

      Couldn’t agree more with the Dustin Brown point. What does he make these days, 8 million? Turns out he has never reached over 60 points in one year. I guess if Bozak is overpaid for being a 45-50 point guy, I’d hate to see what people have to say about Brown’s contract.

      • atwatercrushesokoye - Aug 8, 2013 at 9:21 PM

        A 28 year old player who’s scored more than 50 points for the last 5 full regular seasons at $5.85 million vs a 27 year old player who’s never reached 50 points at $4.2 million….you’re really agreeing with a comparison between the two? You need to get off the “everything the Leafs do is gold” bandwagon and get some perspective. Oh and the 28 year old was also a captain on a Stanley Cup winning team.

      • withseidelinn - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:55 PM

        I’m not hating on Dustin Brown or saying everything the Leafs do is gold. But to be realistic, most guys in the league are overpaid once they approach free agency. That’s just how the market works. Brown is a consistent, hard nosed captain that is worth good money. All I’m saying is that if he can get 8+ million a year, signing Bozak for 4.2 doesn’t sound too bad.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 8, 2013 at 10:58 PM

        In today’s NHL marketplace Brown’s pay rate is equivalent to his production. Bozak’s compensation is not. Yeah Brown’s never exceeded his 60pt career high, but like atwatercrushesokoye says, he’s good for 50-60 pts a year and he’s the captain of Cup winning team. Bozak is nothing more than a support player. This is not meant to rip Bozak, but he’s not in the same stratosphere as Brown. Brown is a heart and soul, productive captain on a deep, contending team. Bozak is in the top-6 out of necessity. The players do not compare.

        And if Brown’s extension was more controversial than Bozak’s we’d be hearing about it as much as we’ve heard about Toronto’s moves. That no one in the hockey community or media has even brought it up (since it was signed) should tell you all you need to know.

      • phillyphanatic77 - Aug 8, 2013 at 11:00 PM

        Brown is not making 8 mil. He’s making 5.75 per over 8 years.

  6. canadianguest - Aug 8, 2013 at 7:01 PM

    If Clarkson shoots 300 times, he’ll get his 25 goals.

    If, what a wonderful word.

    • Lupy Nazty Philthy - Aug 9, 2013 at 5:45 PM

      3 or 4 shots per game is not impossible.

      • canadianguest - Aug 14, 2013 at 12:35 PM

        Agreed, but, a player has to be in the offensive end to shoot, and of course score (ignore empty net). Is Clarkson going to be in the offensive end enough for 300 shots? That is where my IF comes in. I think he can do it.

  7. vanfoodman - Aug 9, 2013 at 1:51 AM

    While these signings make the team better in the short term, both are overpaid. Bozak has chemistry with Kessell, for now. If Kadri becomes the top centre, as it looks like he will, then Bozak will eventually revert to 3rd line and his contract will be a major drag on the cap and for some time. Clarkson is unlikely to provide value for the duration of the contract, given his style of play and that has to be a given no matter who you are. Nonis has taken significant risk in both deals. Good luck to him and Leaf Nation cuz I love Kadri, Kessel, Lupul and Gardiner. This is a talented and spunky team and I have no trouble saying that from the left coast. Love to see ya in the finals!

  8. scotloucks - Aug 9, 2013 at 6:24 PM

    In the NHL, when you’re 27-28 you have reached your prime. It’s an age where most players begin to peak.

    Bull.

    Especially not if they come out of NCAA and don’t play their first NHL game till 24.

    You call me delusional?
    I call you clueless.

    But I guess we will have to wait and see won’t we. When the Cap goes up next year, Bozak will look like a steal at 4.2 and in two years Clarkson will look just fine at 5.25.

    Brown is paid more than Clarkson on a longer term.
    Other teams offered Clarkson more money including Ottawa and the Flyers.

    The difference was term and 5.25m won’t look like much in 5 years.

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