Rahal made his Blue Jacket pitch to Clarkson

Graham Rahal rides into the paddock follwing the IZOD Indy practice race during the 2012 Edmonton...

Graham Rahal rides into the paddock follwing the IZOD Indy practice race during the 2012 Edmonton Indy Saturday, July 21, 2012. (CODIE MCLACHLAN/QMI Agency)

MIKE ZEISBERGER, QMI Agency

, Last Updated: 11:27 PM ET

Last Friday morning, as the clock was ticking down to the noon kickoff of the NHL’s Free Agent Frenzy, David Clarkson received a text from one of his friends who travels in the fast lane.

The author of the message was Graham Rahal, IndyCar driver, Columbus-area native and, most importantly on this particular day, avid Blue Jackets fan.

The intent: A last-minute plea to get Clarkson to consider Columbus a potential landing spot.

“I haven’t seen him much so I decided to reach out to him. I told him how cool it would be to have him be a Blue Jacket,” Rahal chuckled during a phone interview on Monday.

“But I had a feeling he would go to Toronto. It’s his home town. It’s a special place for him.”

Sure enough, a couple of hours later, David Clarkson signed on the dotted line and became a Maple Leaf.

“I think Graham was playing the role of the official recruiter for the Blue Jackets,” Clarkson laughed. “It was pretty funny.”


Photos