Report: Clarkson to return to the Leafs’ lineup vs. Islanders


After sitting out two games as a healthy scratch, David Clarkson is expected to return to the Toronto Maple Leafs lineup on Thursday night.

The Leafs, who are 4-19-1 since Dec. 18 and have just one win in their last 13, visit the Islanders.

Clarkson has 10 goals and 15 points in 53 games this season to go along with a minus-11 rating.

The 30-year-old Ontario native is in the second season of a seven-year, $36.75 million contract, which carries a cap hit of $5.25 million,

Hockey insider Darren Dreger also reports defenseman Cody Franson missed Wednesday’s Leafs practice with a hip issue.

Franson also missed Leafs’ practice on Saturday, which forced the club to use an emergency recall on Petter Granberg.

The 27-year-old pending unrestricted free agent has been the subject of trade rumors as the Leafs believe they won’t be able to meet his contract demands.

Franson has six goals and 32 points in 53 games this season.