TORONTO - Clarke MacArthur’s career season has not gone to his head.
“A comfort level is nice to an extent, but you always want to be on the edge and fighting for a job,” the Maple Leafs left winger said. “Last year I came in having something to prove, trying to stay on a line, and I want to come in and do the same thing again this year. I feel like nothing is ever set in stone. If we are not playing good, you can be sure things will be changed.”
MacArthur played in all 82 games for the Leafs last season and recorded personal highs with 21 goals, 41 assists and 62 points. The line he formed with Mikhail Grabovski and Nikolai Kulemin often was dangerous in the offensive zone, and it’s the only trio to return from last year fully intact.
In the summer, MacArthur signed a contract that will pay him $3.25 million US in each of the next two seasons.
“You never know what is going to happen year to year,” MacArthur said. “If you don’t come out and work hard and communicate on the ice, things can go sideways. We had great chemistry last year but it’s a new year and we have to do it all over again.
“I think the best things we did was those little plays on the ice that made room for each other.”
Like everyone else associated with the Leafs, the drive to end a seven-year playoff skid has started.
“We don’t have any excuses this year,” MacArthur said.