The Blue Jackets acquired Clarkson from the Toronto Maple Leafs on February 26 and sent the injured Nathan Horton over in exchange.
Clarkson suffered the injury, a torn oblique muscle, on Tuesday night when his new team faced off against the Washington Capitals. Also on Columbus’ injury list are Kevin Connauton, Brandon Dubinsky, Matt Calvert, Jack Skille, Ryan Murray, Jeremy Morin, and Boone Jenner.
In three games with the Blue Jackets, Clarkson amassed 14 penalty minutes including a 10-minute misconduct on Tuesday night after a scrum. The 30-year-old winger ends the season with 15 points in 61 games, including 10 goals of course. He also has 106 penalty minutes and is a -6.
As mentioned, getting rid of Clarkson and his hefty contract was a pretty big deal for the Maple Leafs. And it’s hard not to imagine them chuckling at this latest news behind closed doors, especially given the preposterousness of his contract – $37.65 million for seven years.
Clarkson was signed on the basis of a 30-goal season he put together back in New Jersey in 2011-2012 and many in the Leafs organization thought lightning would strike twice rather than settle into its ordinary 15-goals-at-most pace. Alas, Clarkson was a bust for the money and Toronto was looking for ways to move along.
The man papers dubbed as “Wendel Clarkson,” I kid you not, wound up another victim of both hype and reality. The Toronto market ate him up because he didn’t match expectations. He was cheered for “defending his teammates” when he hopped the boards to jump on John Scott, sure, but at what cost?
Whatever you may think of Clarkson’s tenure in Toronto, it’s over now and he’s moved on. And the good news is that he looks to be living up to expectations in Columbus, where darn near everyone takes a stint on the IR.
Hey, at least he’s getting it out of the way early.