April 11, 2011
MacArthur not looking to break Maple Leafs' bankForward in line for healthy raise
By ROB LONGLEY, QMI Agency
TORONTO - Clarke MacArthur will leave the negotiations to the experts, but the restricted free agent forward hinted strongly Monday that he isn’t looking to break Brian Burke’s bank to remain a Maple Leaf.
Coming off a career season in which the 26-year-old Alberta native was second in team scoring with 21 goals and 41 assists, MacArthur has, by any reasonable measure, earned a nice raise on the $1.1-million, one-year deal he signed last October.
But after a successful run playing alongside dynamic linemates Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin, MacArthur sees some value in settling for a reasonable hometown discount once the negotiations get serious.
“I’ve never once said that I’m trying to hit one out of the park here (with a new contract),” MacArthur said Monday at the Leafs locker-room cleanout. “I feel like sometimes it’s better to be happy than to be greedy.
“In a lot of people’s cases, they will take more money in other places and you will find the love of the game goes away and the direction of your career doesn’t go the way you want it to go.
“Obviously with weighing all that in, it would be a tough place to leave.”
Depending on how negotiations go, you would expect that MacArthur would be a tough player to let get away, especially given the way his linemates elevated their games this season.
The quick-witted MacArthur said that he wasn’t always so comfortable with his newest team after Atlanta walked away from an arbitration settlement last summer.
“I remember when here I was nervous for the first little bit,” said MacArthur, who is represented by Toronto agent, Don Meehan. “It was like ‘wow, I’m going to Toronto. If I don’t score the first little bit, if I go five games without a goal they might give my lease up at my apartment.’ ”
“As I said before, I’d love to stay. The team we have here, there’s so much positive to be said. I just want to stay here. I hope they are thinking the same thing.”