It’s late in the season, but Sunday will mark David Clarkson’s first game back in New Jersey since he signed with the Toronto Maple Leafs last July.
The now 29-year-old Clarkson inked a seven-year deal worth $36.75 million on the first day of National Hockey League free agency, ending his time with the New Jersey Devils after seven seasons.
“I would be lying if I said it was something that you don’t think about,” Clarkson told Fire & Ice of Northjersey.com.
“I don’t know how the fans will act, but I am looking forward to going back. I spent a long time in my career there and I really enjoyed that city. I met a lot of nice friends and the organization, in my opinion, is if not the best, then one of the best to play for (in) the NHL.”
However, Clarkson’s time in Toronto hasn’t been very fruitful, especially given the money he signed for.
His offensive numbers have also been on the decline this season. He had only four goals and 10 points in 49 games prior to tonight’s meeting against the Montreal Canadiens. It’s worth noting his lowest goal total in the NHL was three back in the 2006-07 season. He played in only seven games for New Jersey, while spending the majority of that season in the American Hockey League.
He admitted in January to not being happy with his early ban and its impact on how things have gone for him this season in general.