The 5 Worst Toronto Maple Leafs Trades or Signings Since 2000

Dave Nonis, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images)
Dave Nonis, Brian Burke, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Bruce Bennett/Getty Images) /
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David Clarkson, Toronto Maple Leafs
David Clarkson, Toronto Maple Leafs (Photo by Jana Chytilova/Freestyle Photography/Getty Images) /

Leafs Sign David Clarkson (2013)

We have seen countless bad trades by the Toronto Maple Leafs. It often overshadows the signings the team has made. This time around, it is a signing that stings. In his first offseason with the team, general manager Dave Nonis wanted to make a big splash in the free-agent market. I guess you can say he did exactly that.

People were pleased with the signing, despite concerns over the longevity. The player brought to Toronto was held in high regard for his rare ability to be a tough guy and a goal-scorer. That man was David Clarkson.

While his ceiling was not as high, the Leafs signed Clarkson for a similar reason they brought in Nolan ten years prior. The difference is Nolan proved himself as an offensive talent, while Clarkson had one decent season.

That season was the ’11-’12 season when he put up 30 goals and 138 penalty minutes in 80 games. Many analysts didn’t say that he had only 16 assists, bringing his points total to 46 in 80 games. His second-best offensive output was two years prior when he put up 24 points in 46 games. His ceiling was a goon that might just put up 0.5 points per game.

It was okay, though. Toronto needed a tough guy, and Clarkson just happened to have two decent seasons. That warranted him a SEVEN YEAR DEAL that would pay him $5.25 MILLION PER SEASON.  Whew, that drew a tear from me. Maybe we should look at what the hometown kid did as a Maple Leaf before we jump to conclusions, right?

In year one, Clarkson produced 11 points in 60 games.

In year two, Clarkson produced 15 points in 58 games.

Okay, let me resume my anger at Dave Nonis. ARE YOU KIDDING ME?!

With five more years left on the unbelievably laughable contract, Nonis flips him to the Columbus Blue Jackets for a player that would never play in the NHL again, Nathan Horton. Despite acquiring his contract, it would not count against the salary cap.

That was one of the worst signings in NHL history. The duration, the salary, everything about it sucked. The only positive was that there wasn’t a no-movement clause, and the Leafs found a way to move him.