Latest Maple Leafs and Senators Rumors – April 3, 2014.

Is it worthwhile for the Leafs to buy out David Clarkson? Will Dave Bolland re-sign? Can the Senators retain Ales Hemsky and Clarke MacArthur? 

Leafs could be stuck with David Clarkson for a while.

Leafs could be stuck with David Clarkson for a while.

THE GLOBE AND MAIL: James Mirtle addresses recent speculation suggesting the Toronto Maple Leafs could buy out David Clarkson this summer, pointing out how the heavily bonus-laden deal makes it almost buyout-proof. While the Leafs could still go that route, Mirtle notes the cost of doing so would outweigh the marginal cap space they would gain from doing so.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: You can see the gory details over at, but here’s what the updated cap hit would be:

  • 2014-15: $4,694,444
  • 2015-16: $4,694,444
  • 2016-17: $3,694,444
  • 2017-18: $3,694,444
  • 2018-19: $4,694,444
  • 2019-20: $4,694,444
  • 2020-21: $444,444
  • 2021-22: $444,444
  • 2022-23: $444,444
  • 2023-24: $444,444
  • 2024-25: $444,444
  • 2025-26: $444,444

Not really much of a savings for the Leafs from his annual $5.25 million cap hit up to 2019-20. Unless the Leafs can trade him (which is unlikely, even if they pick up half his remaining salary), they’re stuck with Clarkson for better or worse until 2020. 

TORONTO SUN: Terry Koshan reports the future plans of Leafs center Dave Bolland remain uncertain. There’s been no contract talks between the Leafs and Bolland’s agent since February, when he reportedly sought a 7-8 year deal worth upwards of $40 million. There’s been speculation he could sign with the Florida Panthers or Montreal Canadiens, where he’d be reunited with former Blackhawks executives Dale Tallon or Marc Bergevin. The Vancouver Canucks could also have interest.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Don’t fault Bolland for seeking $5 million per season. After all, the Leafs were willing last year to pony up big, stupid money to David Clarkson. Whether they do the same for Bolland remains to be seen, though after being burned by the Clarkson deal, Leafs management could  be reluctant to risk repeating that mistake.

OTTAWA SUN: Don Brennan reports Senators forward Clarke MacArthur said he’s open to negotiating a contract extension this summer. He has one year remaining on his current deal worth $3.25 million. Earlier this week Brennan reported Ales Hemsky could base his future plans on continuing to play on Jason Spezza’s line. Hemsky is eligible for UFA status this summer, Spezza for next.

SPECTOR’S NOTE: Hemsky’s future in Ottawa certainly appears tied to Spezza’s. If the latter signals his intent to test next summer’s UFA market during his exit interview with management later this month, the Senators could try to move him following the playoffs. If that happens, Hemsky could sign elsewhere on July 1. As for MacArthur, he’s on pace for his second-best season in his career and was among the few bright spots in this dismal season for the Senators. I expect they’ll try to re-sign him this summer.


  1. I imagine Clarkson is likely not to pleased with his own performance this season. His contract is likely untradeable and a buyout seems pointless so the Leafs can only hope his play improves enough next year to the point that his market value increases thereby creating some kind of interest for his services.

    • Clarkson is here to stay just like Komiserek was immovable until the final year for his contract.

  2. No point in buying out Clarkson. It’s like losing two roster players as you lose him and the cap space to sign/acquire another player.

    Not sure what Hemsky has anything to do with Spezza.

    Bolland’s injury proneness will keep him away from getting $5M per year offers.

  3. My question is what exactly happens if they just waive Clarkson and send him to the minors, how much of his cap hit will actually count against the cap?

    • He has a no-movement clause preventing the Leafs from demoting him.

    • Even if he didn’t have a no-movement clause. Minor league demotions now have a cap of $900,000-$950,000 somewhere in there of relief against your cap.

      • And at that limited amount, it would be almost as useless as buying him out.

      • You can thank the NY Rangers for that, specifically for signing Wade Redden to that huge contract and then demoting him a season or two later, thus avoiding his salary counting against their already mismanaged cap. The league has clamped down on that.

        • LOL. Like other teams weren’t doing their best to circumvent the cap….NJ, Philly, etc etc. I’m not defending the Redden signing. But plenty of teams tried to find a way to screw over the CBA.

          • Chicago…with Hossa, and Duncan Keiths eternity contract.

          • thank you!

  4. D’oh. That’s gotta hurt.

  5. No easy answers. A few positive points
    1) He is 29 – so not old
    2) As each year goes by the cap goes up, the years left on his contract goes down
    and becomes more manageable.
    3) He has had some good years, so it is too early to throw him under the bus over
    one sub par year.
    4) Who will you replace him with and at what cost. It’s not just his salary, it is his salary
    and the salary of whom ever you replace him with.
    5) Worst case in a year or two look around for a over paid D-man that another team has
    who would trade him to the leafs because they need a forward with grit. I trade my overpaid
    player I can’t use for your over paid player you can’t use. TOUGH, VERY TOUGH but a possible
    option to get a D-man that Leafs do need.

    • @all4 so you’re saying the Leafs may be able to trade Clarkson for Phaneuf in a couple of years :)

      • Yes, if you throw in a life time pass to Tim Hortons

  6. The Canucks traded Luongo and his untradeable contract so you never know. The trouble with trading for Clarkson is that his contract could really throw off a team’s salary structure as players producing at a higher level could realistically ask for his kind of money even though the team had them slotted for significantly less. Clarkson’s proven not to be a prolific point producer on the 3rd and 4th lines (he has 2 pts more than Tom freakin’ Sestito) will only have trade value if he finds his niche and does something better than anyone else on the team. Assuming the Leafs would retain 40-50percent of the contract if he was traded the balance of his contract could be justified if a GM could say we’re paying David for his 250 hits a year, or for his 32 fights or for his wicked butter tarts.

  7. All UFA’s that sign a big contract always bomb their first year of that deal…that’s not to say they will improve but has to be said that a vast majority do struggle their first year trying too hard to live up to that contract. If clarkson sucks next year too, then you start to wonder what you are gonna do.

    • Agreed J-bo Handzus are a couple off the top of my head that were rather big dissapointments after signing big deals that people had doubts about. I think Clarkson has struggled more and in “the center of the hockey universe” is probably not helping him any. Give him another year and see what to do with him then, there are other ways to get rid of bad contracts if its waranted but the talk of buy outs is way early considering the year the team has had as a whole.

  8. I can see us having this same conversation about Phaneuf next year or the year after. What a joke these contracts are…

    • Funny how you call Ron Moore out abot being negative all the time, yet I cant recall one positve thing you have said….contracts are a joke, Kessel isnt a star Phaneuf this Bozak that Clarkson is Komisarek blah blah blah. Do you ever add something to the conversation or do you just come here to gripe about pro athelets that you dontlike that you feel are making too much money or others (Reimer) who have been disrespec andwhine about them?

      • I’ll send you Nash for Kessel straight up!!!

      • First off your BFF Ron is negative towards just about everyone who posts here which is why I gave him the name Mr. Negative. I don’t not trash anyone who makes a post.
        Secondly I think I am fully justified complaining about an organization who has made the playoffs once in eight years and has had two “18 Wheelers off the cliff” losing streaks to knock them out of qualifying for the playoffs two of the last three years. Not to mention getting out played and out shot all year long. I call a spade a spade my friend.
        Thirdly all I have heard from you is complaints about Carlyle all year long and how the Leafs don’t have a 4th line or depth at defense. Once again I ask how do you expect to fill those positions when you give monster contracts to guys like Phaneuf/ Clarkson/ Bozak/ Kessel leaving you no money when it’s time to anti up for a couple of solid 4th line guys or a couple of deeply skilled defenders? Fine anti up $8M for Kessel but then you don’t do the Phaneuf deal, Fine anti up for Bozak but then don’t do the Clarkson deal. Pick your battles and stop handing out contracts like candy to anyone who threatens to play hardball or it will leave the cupboard bare when it comes time to pay everyone else and please don’t use the large Crosby/Malkin contracts as a comparison to anyone on the Leafs.

  9. Trade Clarkson AND picks to say the Panthers while retaining half his salary. The Panthers turn around and trade Clarkson FOR picks to say the Oilers while retaining half his salary.

    Toronto gets out of half the contract at the cost of some picks
    Florida ends up with picks from Toronto and Edmonton at the cost of 1/4 Clarkson’s salary
    Edmonton ends up with Clarkson at 1/4 the salary for some picks.

    I don’t know how many picks and in what round, just trying to find a way out of this mess.

    I actually thought Clarkson would give the Leafs their money’s worth for the first two or three years!

  10. There is one simple fact that constantly makes me wonder how NHL GM’s are any smarter than people who buy lotto tickets as their retirement plans…….there has NEVER been an NHL player signed as a UFA over 28 that has had a career year after that signing…..not one. So basically every time a GM does this, all he is doing is rewarding previous play……and the simple fact that everyone has these stats available makes me wonder if these GM’s actually believe that “this one could be the one?”.

    A team would be better off by making a committment to fans that any player age 27 or older who chooses not to resign, will be traded, no ifs ands or buts, AND, the team will never sign top end free agents over 27. If they actually did that, it might be amazing how much salary cap room and how much player development would lead to success……

    but what do I know……I am no GM.

    • Good point, and further to that, do GM’s ever stop and ask themselves why these “big names” got to the free agent market in the first place? Obviously, their former teams chose not to meet their contract demands, but who would know these payers better than anyone, for better and worse, than the organization that employed them…. and then chose not to resign them. Elite players rarely make it to market. Sure some of them use the threat of free agency as leverage when trying to negotiate a new deal, but realistically, you don’t see Crosby, Ovechkin, Toews, Getzlaf, et al get to test the free agent waters.

      • See this is the thing that bothers me, and it goes in general people complaining about contracts and ufa.

        Towes has mever been UFA neither has P Kane Taveres Hall E Kane Seguin Stamkos and lots of others, quit comparing guys that are RfA to ufas its a huge difference. People dont keep that in mind when say complaining about UFAs or guys like Kessel and saying things like…..”Kessel makes 8 mill its outragious when you think about ….(insert any of the above.)” Stop thinking about dollars and start thinking of contracts in terms of cap or pie… when these guys reach the end of their rfa deals they are going to get paid considerably more than they make now forcing teams to either part with them or perhaps another pretty good player. Terms of value by dollars is out the window with this cap structure. Yes guys like Kessle make 8 mill which is just over 10% of the cap in a few years when it is Taveres or Towes or any of those other guys turn to sign their first deal as a ufa or to avoid being a ufa and the cap is at 80 plus milland they want say
        12-15 % they are going to be making a considerable ammount more than guys who signed deals this year thus dropping players who could be considered better down the list…guys like Crosby and Malkin. Players go down the list more according to when they sign their deals and where the cap sits, their salaries are better compared amongst one another in terms of percentages against the cap. It is more complicated than Player X makes 5 million and he scored 20 goals, player Y must be worth less because he only scored 15.

  11. David Clarkson needs to redefine his game in this off-season. His contract suggests that he’s a power forward who scores 30 goals and fights. He’s never going to do that consistently. I would like to see him focus on becoming more of a 3rd line defensive forward in the off-season.. God knows the Leafs need more of those players that can be sent out in shut-down role. If he could forget all the hype and just focus on bringing some energy and responsibly in his zone he could be an important asset to the team.

    • Good ole Lou did it again. He obviously saw Clarkson as a soon to be grossly over paid individual and let him walk, much the way the Habs did with Komiserek.

      • Good ole Lou has made some mistakes as well. I think he wanted to re-sign Clarkson but Clarkson wanted to play in Toronto. Not to be left behind, good ole Lou signed Ryan Clowe for 5 years at $4.85M per, which is not much better than Clarkson’s contract, 7 years at $5.25M per.

        • Good ole Lou is also lucky to have his draft pick back too for his terrible Kovalchuck contract. But keep going on about how no other team makes mistakes with contracts….jeeesh

  12. I said from the summer that Clarkson would be a bust ! how does anyone give a player like him over 5 million? its just baffling what in the world was nonis thinking and what were the pro scouts doing for sure not there job!!

  13. This is why the maple laffs will never win with this management core. They over spend on over rated players. It’s a goalie graveyard I bet Reimer can hardly wait to get out of town and when Bernier gets burned out how long before management an there fickle fans turn on him an he goes the way of Raycroft. But thank you leafs for Rask Hamilton knight an seguin. It may be spring but the Leafs are falling

  14. Not sure why my post was deleted didn’t use bad language or attack anyone. Must be cause Iam not a maple leafs fan