Clarkson to wear reverse of Wendel Clark’s number

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David Clarkson is wearing No. 71 this season for Toronto.

That number is the reverse of Wendel Clark’s famous No. 17 that he wore, and made legendary, during his time with the Maple Leafs. One thing that won’t do is stop the comparisons being made between their styles of play.

As James Mirtle of The Globe And Mail shares, the comparisons are unfair to Clarkson. Even the man himself says Clark’s legacy is tough to live up to.

“I couldn’t do that. I couldn’t live up to what he has done. To me, [wearing his jersey] was a childhood thing,” Clarkson, who grew up in Toronto, said.

That’s the right thing to say and should be taken for what it’s worth. Then again, the first time he scores a goal on a scrum in front of the net and beats up an opponent for trying to stop him, the talk will return with a fury.

At least there are no Quebec Nordiques to trade him to in heartbreaking fashion later on. Not yet, anyhow.

(picture via @RealSports on Twitter)