Toronto Maple Leafs shed David Clarkson and contract in Columbus trade

Toronto Maple Leafs shed David Clarkson and contract in Columbus trade

Brendan Shanahan and Dave Nonis just worked a minor miracle. Or at least found a team paying an injured player to not play and dealt David Clarkson for said player.

Regardless, Clarkson, who is in the second season of a seven-year deal worth $5.25 million per season is going to Columbus for Nathan Horton – whose career was likely over anyway. Sound the celebration bells for the Maple Leafs, who have enough money to stash away Horton, and get relief from his contract, which was uninsured per TSN’s Bob McKenzie. This gives Toronto some sizable salary cap relief also per McKenzie.

Horton signed a seven-year, $37.1-million free-agent contract with the Blue Jackets in 2013 and the Blue Jackets were essentially paying him to not play.

And in Clarkson the Blue Jackets are getting … we’ll let Columbus general manager Jarmo Kekalainen tell us in a release:

“David Clarkson has been a 30-goal scorer in the NHL who will bring added character and leadership to our group and we believe he will be a valuable contributor to our team,” said Kekalainen. “While we are excited to welcome David to the Blue Jackets, it is also difficult that Nathan’s time here has ended prematurely due to his injury situation. He is a tremendous person and we wish him and his family all the best in the future.” 

Though Jarmo fails to mention the fact that Clarkson has scored more than 17 goals ONCE in his entire career, which was said 30 goal season. He hit the proverbial lottery at the right stage of his powers and at age 30, isn’t getting any younger or better. He has 26 points in his last 108 games. That’s really bad.

It's still better than Horton being paid to not play. But only a handful of teams could have made this move and stashed Horton, paid him for the next several years, and had a piece like Clarkson to give up. Toronto actually lucked out on giving Clarkson a bad deal the same summer the Blue Jackets gave Horton his mega bucks.

Anyway, not Toronto’s problem anymore. Columbus … You now have David Clarkson into the next decade.

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Josh Cooper is an editor for Puck Daddy on Yahoo Sports. Have a tip? Email him at or follow him on Twitter!