No Where to Go But Up for Clarkson

Derrick Simpson, April 26

After a disappointing campaign this year (to say the least!) David Clarkson will be hoping to bounce back next season. After a year starting with an undisciplined 10 game suspension and ending with just one point in his final 22 games there is Literally no where to go but up. The Maple Leafs' David Clarkson will suit up for Tuesday's pre-season game against visiting Ottawa. Head coach Randy Carlyle says it's important for Clarkson to<br /><br /><br /><br /><br /> play as much as possible now before he's sent to the sidelines for 10 games, starting Oct. 1. David     Clarkson finished the season with just 11 points and was a -14. (Claus Andersen/Getty Images)

Is Nonis to blame?

Although many think Leafs General Manager Dave Nonis is totally crazy for signing the former Devil to a 7 year, 36.75 million dollar contract, it was understandable.  The Leafs were looking for a hard-nosed player who could chip in some goals and help them make the playoffs.. Even though they paid too much to get him, he fits that job descripition perfectly  His 5 goals and 11 points this season were both a career low for the Toronto native and Nonis  has become a scapegoat for the right winger’s lackluster play. After all, Edmonton Oilers GM Craig MacTavish reportedly offered Clarkson a 7 year, 6 million dollar contract. However, the 6’1″, 200 pound winger chose his hometown over (slightly larger) money. On July 1st , Nonis was questioned for the signing but not entirely judged on it like he is being now . Sure, his contract is basically buy-out proof due to signing bonuses and he is arguably the most overpaid player in the league (I’m looking at you too Dany Heatley), but Nonis made the signing to improve the team. Although he overpaid and it has not went as planned he does not deserve the lion’s of the blame for this. Can

Clarkson Rebound?

There is no way Clarkson will live up to his contract, nevertheless next season will no doubt be better for Clarkson. There are many reasons for Clarkson to have hope, mostly because he couldn’t manage to do worse than he did this season if he tried to. His shooting percentage was 4.6%, he will definitely get more bounces next year.  As well, trying to live up to the hype of a big-time contract has Clarkson trying to do too much, too often, and ultimately it has blown up in his in his face.  Clarkson needs to go back to the game that got him here in the first place, and stop trying to score and start doing the little things. Also, he racked up many of his points in New Jersey on the power play. If Nonis and Randy Carlyle (assuming he returns) want to see a large statistical change from last year, he should be playing on the power play. Next year is certainly looking brighter for David Clarkson just maybe not as bright as everyone expected in July.

Derrick Simpson, all day sportz

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