The David Clarkson situation is getting uncomfortable

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David Clarkson is once again expected to be a healthy scratch when the Toronto Maple Leafs host the Rangers tonight, and the veteran forward is none too pleased about it.

Clarkson’s frustration was evident for everyone this morning during what was described as an “animated” on-ice discussion with coach Peter Horachek.

Following the skate, Clarkson suggested that his scratching was a message, not just for him, but for everyone on the team:

Whatever the reason (could it, in fact, be that Clarkson has scored just once since Christmas?), the Leafs are in a tough spot with the 30-year-old winger, who let’s not forget still has five years remaining on his big contract.

Oh, just buy him out, you say?

From Sportsnet’s Chris Johnston:

Because the deal is bonus-laden it would carry a particularly penal buyout schedule if the team chose to go in that direction this summer — the Leafs would carry between $3.7-million and $4.7-million in dead money the next five years and then $466,667 for each of the five seasons beyond that.

Related: Horachek knows ‘political ramifications’ of Clarkson healthy scratch