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Leafs’ Clarkson makes his return to New Jersey on Sunday

Mar 22, 2014, 9:25 PM EDT

New Jersey Devils v Toronto Maple Leafs Getty Images

It’s late in the season, but Sunday will mark David Clarkson‘s first game back in New Jersey since he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs last July.

The now 29-year-old Clarkson inked a seven-year deal worth $36.75 million on the first day of National Hockey League free agency, ending his time with the New Jersey Devils after seven seasons.

“I would be lying if I said it was something that you don’t think about,” Clarkson told Fire & Ice of Northjersey.com.

“I don’t know how the fans will act, but I am looking forward to going back. I spent a long time in my career there and I really enjoyed that city. I met a lot of nice friends and the organization, in my opinion, is if not the best, then one of the best to play for (in) the NHL.”

“I would be lying if I said it was something that you don’t think about,” he said. “I don’t know how the fans will act, but I am looking forward to going back. I spent a long time in my career there and I really enjoyed that city. I met a lot of nice friends and the organization, in my opinion, is if not the best, then one of the best to play for the NHL.” – See more at: http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/fireice/clarkson_looking_forward_to_his_return_to_new_jersey_sunday_its_a_place_i_love/#When:12:19:05Z
“I would be lying if I said it was something that you don’t think about,” he said. “I don’t know how the fans will act, but I am looking forward to going back. I spent a long time in my career there and I really enjoyed that city. I met a lot of nice friends and the organization, in my opinion, is if not the best, then one of the best to play for the NHL.” – See more at: http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/fireice/clarkson_looking_forward_to_his_return_to_new_jersey_sunday_its_a_place_i_love/#When:12:19:05Z

However, Clarkson’s time in Toronto hasn’t been very fruitful, especially given the money he signed for.

 

“I would be lying if I said it was something that you don’t think about,” he said. “I don’t know how the fans will act, but I am looking forward to going back. I spent a long time in my career there and I really enjoyed that city. I met a lot of nice friends and the organization, in my opinion, is if not the best, then one of the best to play for the NHL.” – See more at: http://blogs.northjersey.com/blogs/fireice/clarkson_looking_forward_to_his_return_to_new_jersey_sunday_its_a_place_i_love/#When:12:19:05Z

It started with a 10-game suspension for leaving the bench to get involved in a line brawl between the Leafs and Buffalo Sabres during the pre-season.

His offensive numbers have also been on the decline this season. He had only four goals and 10 points in 49 games prior to tonight’s meeting against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s worth noting his lowest goal total in the NHL was three back in the 2006-07 season. He played in only seven games for New Jersey, while spending the majority of that season in the American Hockey League.

He admitted in January to not being happy with his early ban and its impact on how things have gone for him this season in general.

He was also suspended two games for a high hit on Vladimir Sobotka in December, and placed on injured reserve in January.

  1. atwatercrushesokoye - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    I’m curious if Leafs fans still feel like this is a terrific contract for the next great power forward in the NHL?

    49 games played
    4 goals
    6 assists
    10 points
    -8
    83 PIM

    • paperkid96 - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:12 PM

      Dont forget to add:

      1 Water Bottle Protected

      That makes up for everything else.

    • bsaures - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:14 PM

      But…but.. intangibles lol

      • charlieconway96 - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:40 PM

        Exactly, intangibles tangibles intangibles. The leadership he showed during the preseason by hopping over the boards to join a fight shows everyone that even if you’re gonna have to sit 10 games, you have to “be there for your team”.

      • bsaures - Mar 22, 2014 at 10:52 PM

        Im not sure if you got that i was joking

      • charlieconway96 - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:04 PM

        Don’t worry B, ending a comment like that in “lol” makes the sarcasm pretty obvious. Possibly mine was too subtle…

      • bsaures - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:15 PM

        Well some leaf fans are delusional enough to think that having a guy who makes that kind of money hop off the bench for a fight in the PRESEASON to be a logical move so you understand my confusion. The cap penalty from that cost them getting a solid dman at the deadline this year and may cost them the playoffs altogether.

  2. unkn0wn17 - Mar 22, 2014 at 9:55 PM

    The Leafs have had recent struggles signing forwards to contribute (see Jason Blake and Tim Connolly) but this is by far the WORST signing. This guy can’t skate, he can’t pass, he can’t shoot. $5.25 to be an agitator, seriously Nonis?
    One of the worst part’s about this signing is that it sets precedent for more deserving players who wanna resign such as Raymond and Bolland who contribute much more to ask for just as much or even money than Clarkson.
    Nonis.. you made this mess now fix it.
    Thank you

  3. blackheart78 - Mar 22, 2014 at 11:32 PM

    If the Leafs didn’t offer the money to Clarkson some other team would have. Maybe not the same dollar and/or year amount but a similar deal none the less. Clarkson was at the right place at the right time when his free agency hit. Still I think what were the Leafs as well as some other teams thinking they were going to get with him?

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