The Senators made the announcement Friday, effectively shuttering the 31-year-old’s chances of returning to the ice in the current campaign.
Senators general manager Pierre Dorion stated that MacArthur will sit the rest of the season on doctor’s orders due to concussion issues. The forward has suffered four concussions in the last 19 months and hasn’t played this season.
MacArthur also missed all but four games last season due to a concussion. He was hit during a scrimmage game last fall during training camp and hasn’t suited up since, so the news is particularly heartbreaking.
“He says he has felt great for a long time,” said Dorion. “This came to us as a bit of a shock.”
MacArthur signed a five-year contract extension in 2014, but there’s a feeling around the organization that he won’t play again in the National Hockey League.
He did have a baseline test a week ago and sought a second opinion from concussion experts in Florida, but the decision was ultimately made to sit him for the season. Regardless of MacArthur’s wishes, league protocol and team practice asserts that doctors’ orders have the final say.
“Clarke has indicated that he would like to play but at the end of the day the doctors are always going to have the final word,” said Dorion. “We’re just following the protocol of the league, doctor’s advice and, at the end of the day, it’s about (what’s best) for Clarke.”
MacArthur is officially on the long-term injured reserve list and is under contract, with his deal covered by an insurance policy that the club set up. There’s no telling what the next step will be, but Dorion acknowledged that he was looking for some help at the forward position. Prices are currently high.
In other Senators news, goalie Craig Anderson could return to the fold by the end of the month after an extensive personal leave due to his wife’s cancer treatment.