Sens’ Murray on Clarkson: ‘I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got’

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Senators GM Bryan Murray confirmed to the Ottawa Sun that he had discussions with the Toronto Maple Leafs regarding a trade to acquire David Clarkson.

ESPN’s Pierre LeBrun reported the Sens had conversations with the Leafs regarding Clarkson.

“What happened was [Dave Nonis] called me and asked if we’d be interested in talking about [Clarkson],” Murray told the Sun. “I think [Clarkson] will be better elsewhere and there’s no question that what happened in Toronto was not a good thing for him or the team.

“I threw some names at [Nonis] and he said he would take their contracts and I said, ‘It has to be more than that and you’d have to eat some money too.’ We just talked one day and I told him I’d think about it.”

Ottawa’s interest in the forward is not all that surprising. The Sens were reportedly interested in the 30-year-old’s services when he was an unrestricted free agent two summers ago.

In the end Murray was concerned the Leafs wouldn’t retain enough of Clarkson’s salary to make the deal worthwhile.

“I just called back [two days later] and said it doesn’t work,” Murray said. “When he played in New Jersey, I always thought he was a competitive guy. I didn’t think he was worth quite the contract that he got [from Toronto].

“We talked [to] him before he went to Toronto. I think he’s competitive and he plays with grit. I watched us play [Los Angeles Thursday] and I thought we need that grit in our lineup, a guy who can stand up for our players, but it wasn’t him.”

Related: Clarkson hoping to get back to the ‘role that I played in New Jersey’