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Leafs’ Clarkson says ‘it’s not a secret’ things didn’t go well

Jul 20, 2014, 11:10 AM EDT

DavidClarkson Getty Images

To say David Clarkson‘s first season with the Toronto Maple Leafs was a bad one would be understating it.

He played in 60 games due in part to injury and suspensions, including a 10-game ban to start the season. When he did play, he wasn’t exactly a game-breaker as he had just five goals and 11 points.

As Luke Fox of Sportsnet shared, Clarkson isn’t hiding from how bad things went last season.

“It’s not a secret, right? At the end of the season, I obviously wasn’t happy,” Clarkson says. “No season goes the same, so you have to find a way to figure things out.”

Clarkson has a lot to figure out going into next season. He’s heading into the second season of his seven-year, $36.75 million deal with the Leafs and after all the comparisons to Wendel Clark, he’s going to need to actually show something to live up to some part of that.

After such a rocky start, just about any improvement will be seen as a positive thing, but the 30-year-old winger is going to need to do it consistently and better than he did last year. After scoring 30 goals for the New Jersey Devils three seasons ago, the ability to cash in around the net is there.

  1. blomfeld - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:32 AM


    The bottom line friends is that the Toronto Maple Leafs constitute the biggest ‘squandering’ of financial wealth in the sports world today ! Despite being the highest valued franchise at 1.5 billion (USD) and being situated in the richest and most ‘hockey mad’ hockey market in existence, MLSE continues to ice ‘pathetic’ hockey teams which equate to frozen ‘junk’ and nothing more !

    “Canada’s preemnent leader in delivering top quality sports and entertainment experiences” … ?

    Hey MLSE … here’s a little secret for you … you’re a bunch of idiots ! :)

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:24 PM

      Right… because LA fans are experts on how to play in a major hockey market. LA didn’t even know they had a team before 3 years ago.

      • President Charles Logan - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:07 PM

        Hard to BeLeaf, dont lump Blomfeld in with the real LA Kings fan base . he’s front running bum that used to be a Calgary fan and everybody knows it .

      • scout202sport - Jul 22, 2014 at 6:40 AM

        Kings have been in the top 4% of season ticket holders since the 80’s. Look it up for yourself, its true.

    • mykem07 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM

      Hey blomfeld, here’s a secret: You went full retard. Never go full retard.

  2. slickdemetrius - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:48 AM

    Don’t feel to down there Clarky, the Leafs are not designed to be successful on the ice. They are built to bring hope to their legions of fans who continue to pay for overpriced tickets and merchandise year after year after year with the illusion of a false sense of success. Of course the Toronto media (especially Rogers media – wonder why?) package this hope in preseason analysis showing that this year they are much improved over last, only to see the team flop come January, February at the latest.
    More than any other team in the NHL, perhaps all professional sports, it’s all about the mullah, ducats, the loot, scratch, the dead presidents…. They live off their past because they can.

  3. esracerx46 - Jul 20, 2014 at 11:52 AM

    “But he does so much more than score”…… What a freaking joke.

    • rmccleary97 - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:01 PM

      Well, he does do so much more than score. He also takes stupid penalties, skates around aimlessly, displays a lack of defensive awareness most shifts, and beats the hell out of the end boards with missed shot after missed shot. It’s hard to put a value on all that, but Toronto figured it was worth about $5 million a year knowing they could pay pretty much anyone the league minimum to get 5-6-11.

    • 950003cups - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:02 PM

      Aren’t you a rangers fan? That’s what it says on top of the locker room wall. It says “We Overpay To Do Other Things Well”

  4. rbbbaron - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:09 PM

    Probably the only contract in the league worse the Weiss’

  5. dbarnes79 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:10 PM

    He needs to score about 20 goals and 45-50 pts a season plus be a real physical force for the Leafs for him to turn it around.

  6. Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:26 PM

    My question is what is he doing to improve himself? Is he wasting his summer making haircut videos again? or is he actually working on his game?

    • lakeshoreleafsfan - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:47 PM

      I know someone who is friends with David Clarkson and the Clarkson family (Mimico is a small community; nothing’s a secret around here) and I was told (because I too asked that question) that yes, Clarkson is and has been working out, working on his shooting and has been working with the Maple Leafs’ skating coordinator Barbara Underhill this summer

  7. elrock7 - Jul 20, 2014 at 12:28 PM

    Every player has a season they would love to forget. He will be much better this year.

    Leaf haters are gonna hate, yet they keep trolling Leaf articles. Must be Leaf envy.

  8. 950003cups - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:03 PM

    David Clarkson! You had your fun, you made some money. It’s time to come home. Stop playing around in Toronto.

    • mb30forlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 2:02 PM

      Clarkson was a beast for NJ…. He doesn’t fit Toronto’s system at all. NJ was smart to let him walk for that much money though. He was one of my favorite players for a while there. If we kept him, Parise, Kovalchuk and Got JAGR! This team would be in ATLEAST, ATLEAST the Stanley Cup Finals every year.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:51 PM

        Any one who disliked this, OBVIOUSLY didn’t watch Clarkson in NJ or is solely looking at PPG. We all know Clarkson was never a Sydney Crosby or any superstar like that but he put fear in the eyes of opposing players, was able to hit, he skated fast (yeah he fell over a lot), BUT he produced a lot of offense from him causing other teams to turn over the puck.

      • endusersolutions2013 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:01 PM

        On the “fit” issue, I wonder if the GM seriously consulted with his coach on the acquisition.

        I’m not for or against Clarkson, tho what he did in pre-season was seriously stupid and impacted his season. Likely also contributing was all the injuries.

        So absent both of the above, even if he scored 20 points, it would still be underperforming for the $4s.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:01 PM

        I agree…. and to be honest. In a system that Toronto has i dont think you can realistically expect more than 35-40 points per season. Unless they wise up a bit and play hockey instead of dancing around the ice making 1,000 passes. THEY NEED TO SHOOT THE “PUCK. Bernier is a great goalie and riemer is a solid back up. They can hold it down but not when they are out shot 2-1 and giving odd man rushes 5 times a game.

  9. beergold - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:23 PM

    Another story about a Leaf that sucks, signed long term for big money by an organization that sucks the pocket books dry from every Leaf fan year after year after year after year and produces a garbage on ice product.

    Come play for the Leafs – Must love golf!

  10. mb30forlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 1:59 PM

    He went from a tip and chip fore checking team to a finesse team… What did they honestly expect was going to happen? Him turn into Mike Modano over night?

    • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:12 PM

      Were we expecting Mike Modano? No
      Were we expecting more than 11 points? Yes.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:46 PM

        well thats a given… But hes a guy that gets in front of the net and scores deflections and off the knee goals. Toronto likes to pass the puck 1,000 times until they turn over the puck. Give up odd man rushes and then blame their goalie. Its a good brand of hockey you guys run over there

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 20, 2014 at 3:58 PM

        Who’s blaming the goalie? Phaneuf gets by far the most blame of anyone on the team.

        Didn’t help anything that Bolland, his planned linemate for the season, was injured early on and was out for most of the year. Between Bolland’s injury and Clarkson’s suspensions, they barely played at all together. Clarkson was stuck with call ups for most of the year, which is why he deserve somewhat of a 2nd chance.

      • mb30forlife - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:58 PM

        Yeah i guess so… but that whole riemer deal was just unnecessary…. And clarkson almost got plaid 1mil per point he got. Iam surprised they didnt have a parade in toronto after every time he got a point. I know i am on a leafs post so i cant expect many likes for my comments since there are so many biased and ignorant fans looking at this.

      • Hard to BeLeaf - Jul 20, 2014 at 5:06 PM

        Don’t worry, it’s the Leafs. We expect biased uneducated fans like you to show up and make your “parade” jokes.

  11. bleedrangerblue - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:12 PM

    Can only shake my head at the thought of Clarkson earning that money.

    • elrock7 - Jul 20, 2014 at 7:21 PM

      yeah and Brad Richards may be the absolute worst signing ever by Sather. And that is saying something considering all the hideous contracts he has handed out including Scott Gomez.


    • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 12:18 AM

      There’s a LOT of heads shaking. What most people don’t know or don’t remember is that Brian Burke basically said that the Leafs wanted Clarkson since 2010. Devils signed him for a 3 year deal then. Seconds after his contract expired the Leafs gave him some serious cash which was expected.

  12. thatguytml92 - Jul 20, 2014 at 4:18 PM

    I think he’ll bounce back this year. New assistant was his head coach in the juniors for Kitchener. Not expecting 30 goal seasons every year but a physical presence in the top 6 is why we have him

    • 950003cups - Jul 21, 2014 at 10:45 AM

      His head coach in juniors was Pete DeBoer.

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