David Clarkson's brutal season befuddles scouts

Leafs winger David Clarkson has never gotten on track, and that has NHL scouts puzzled. (Craig...

Leafs winger David Clarkson has never gotten on track, and that has NHL scouts puzzled. (Craig Robertson/QMI Agency)

STEVE SIMMONS, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 7:24 PM ET

TORONTO - The lost season of David Clarkson has been confounding and confusing to Maple Leafs management, coaches and players, but also to the pro-scouting fraternity within the National Hockey League.

Many of the same scouts who recommended Clarkson as a player of interest — and some who still believe this year is an aberration — now watch the highly paid Toronto winger and wonder, as one scout put it, “what happened to the guy from the Jersey swamp. I don’t see that guy anymore.

“He’s a total shadow of what he was in New Jersey, to my way of thinking,” said the pro scout who has been around the NHL in various capacities for more than 40 years.

“In New Jersey, he was a total grinder, the old lunch-pail guy. It wasn’t about putting on a big show. It was just about getting his nose dirty on a regular basis, jamming the net, getting some power-play time. That’s not his role here."


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