Hockey, Sports, The Campaign to Fire Brian Burke

Campaign to Fire Dave Nonis: The Clarkson Trade


Columbus Blue Jackets get:

David Clarkson, 30, RW:

  • $5.75 mil per season until 2020
  • 15G, 11A for 26P, -25; 14:29 ATOI in 118 games for the Leafs
  • 82-game average: 17G, 12A for 30P, -9; 14:12 ATOI

Toronto Maple Leafs get:

Nathan Horton, 29, RW:

  • $5.3 mil per season until 2020
  • 5G, 14A for 19P, -3; 15:27 ATOI in 36 games for the Jackets last year
  • 82-game average: 26G, 29A for 55P, +7; 17:15 ATOI



The Leafs trade away the worst free agent signing in the franchise’s history for a nearly as terrible contract however…

  • Horton’s contract is not buyout proof;
  • By every estimation possible, Horton is a way better hockey player than David Clarkson, and he’s also slightly younger than him;
  • The above two points are moot because Horton hasn’t played since last season and may have to retire because of his injury woes.

As people on twitter have already noted, this is, essentially, a buyout without the buyout. Clarkson has been moved for a player who, in all likelihood, will never play for the Leafs, meaning that the Leafs have gotten rid of Clarkson without having to buy him out and without having to buy out Horton. (This will backfire on the Leafs if Horton can come back from his injury. However, as I noted, Horton is, or at least was, a far superior player to Clarkson, so if he does come back even for a time, the Leafs have at least moved on from the worst free agent decision in their history.)

So, why would Columbus do this? Well, the only reason I can think of is that they want an actual hockey player on contract. Perhaps Horton is taxing them in some way or other: they cannot afford to pay him and would prefer to pay another player, or what have you. Who knows. Or they are just idiots and fail to realize that they will get out from under Horton’s brutal contract when he retires. (I assume the former.)

This is a wonderful day but, as noted elsewhere online, it is not a day of celebration for Nonis. Rather it is a day of celebration for the rest of us who knew he was wrong from before he even signed the deal. And it is yet another dark spot on his record that he even had to make this ridiculous deal.

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