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In praise of Clarke MacArthur

Jan 10, 2014, 11:32 AM EDT

MacArthurClarke Getty Images

Clarke MacArthur is enjoying a solid campaign in Ottawa, sitting second on the team in goals (15) and third in points, with 33.

Considering where he was eight months ago, the feat is kind of impressive.

MacArthur, then playing for Toronto, was a healthy scratch in a pair of opening-round playoff games against Boston. That came on the heels of a regular season in which MacArthur scored just 20 points in 40 games while averaging less than 15 minutes a night, and had a strained relationship with Leafs bench boss Randy Carlyle.

Allowed to walk in free agency, there was a certain unknown with MacArthur. While his advanced possession statistics were solid and production relatively consistent — he scored at least 15 goals in each of his first four seasons — MacArthur was also a guy that played for three different teams in six years and, this summer, was looking for a fourth.

That’s when the Sens came calling.

Signed to a modest two-year, $6.5 million deal, MacArthur has proven to be one of the best free agent bargains. He sits tied for 10th in the league in game-winning goals (four) and spends extensive time on both Ottawa’s penalty kill and power play (sitting second on the team in PP goals, with five.)

He also put forth a candidate for assist of the season in November, setting up linemate Kyle Turris with this beauty against Minnesota:

Sens head coach Paul MacLean has praised MacArthur’s play and professional approach throughout the year.

“We knew Clarke was a very consistent player, a 400-game player in the league, knows how to play, we knew he had some skill and was really a smart player,” MacLean said earlier this season, per the Ottawa Citizen. “We didn’t put a number on it and say this is what he’s supposed to do and this is what he’s going to be. But, since he has been here, he has been very consistent day in and day out. His practice, his work ethic is something we like.

“He has been a really good signing for our group.”

  1. jpelle82 - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:40 AM

    poor toronto…they just couldnt afford to bring macarthur back after signing that sure thing deal with clarkson…

  2. strictlythedanks - Jan 10, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    He did have an awesome between the legs assist against the wild

  3. beergold - Jan 10, 2014 at 12:54 PM

    The moral of the story is that if you play too long for the Leafs you get the life blood sucked right out of you…..move on to a different organization and you live again.
    He always was a good player but going to the rink in Toronto got to be just too much for him. Good player with a big heart, glad he got out!

  4. sens101 - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:27 PM

    the leafs and their fan base are just too impatient. When somebody struggles, they make it impossible to play through. Personally, thus far I think its safe to say it’s a lock: He is the best free agent signing of last summer. I have to admit I was worried when alfie left and we signed him, but he’s been a consumate professional.

  5. davebabychreturns - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:36 PM

    MacArthur has actually been turfed by a couple of shoddy management groups.. came up with the Sabres and they dealt him to the Thrashers for a couple of picks, within five months that Thrashers went and threw the arbitration hearing so that MacArthur would get an award high enough that they would be allowed to walk away and let him go unrestricted.

    That’s when he signed in Toronto where he had a couple of respectable years until his career was Carlyle’d last season.

    He’s a solid player and there are enough teams out there that he’s going to be a top six guy somewhere.. I don’t know that I’d move a guy to make room for him on my team but he’ll find a job and find enough minutes to produce somewhere in the league for the forseeable future.

  6. spezzdispenser - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:38 PM

    It was really stupid last year when Carlyle was benching MacArthur for no reason other than he wasn’t the type of player Carlyle liked. MacArthur was always a solid player even in his Buffalo days. Leafs really messed up letting him go.

  7. President Charles Logan - Jan 10, 2014 at 1:47 PM

    You gotta know times are tough in the world of Hockey when a nobody and nothing like Clarke MacArthur gets referred to as the best Free Agent signing of the off season…..

    • hazlydose - Jan 10, 2014 at 3:11 PM

      “Signed to a modest two-year, $6.5 million deal, MacArthur has proven to be ONE OF the best free agent BARGAINS.”

      Reading comprehension is your friend.

      • President Charles Logan - Jan 10, 2014 at 7:11 PM

        shut up stupid

      • broadstreetsbaddest88 - Jan 10, 2014 at 8:36 PM

        You haven’t watched him this season. He’s been one if the most dominate players on that team. He’s looked real good in every game I watched and I was pretty surprised. Him and turris have looked good. That being said I’d have to put brad boyes as one the best bargains this year. He’s been good all season on the panthers and only cost them 1 million which is insane for a player with his skills

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