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Nathan Horton / David Clarkson Contract Trade 2015 – Will Any of it Matter at the NHL Trade Deadline?

Nathan Horton / David Clarkson Contract Trade 2015 – Will Any of it Matter at the NHL Trade Deadline?

The Toronto Maple Leafs and Columbus Blue Jackets pulled off an unusual trade on Thursday, exchanging two albatross contracts with very different outlooks to them. In the trade, Nathan Horton, a player who will likely never player hockey again, goes to Toronto, while David Clarkson, a disaster signing for the Leafs, goes to the Blue Jackets. Full details on both contracts and the trade are below.

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Toronto Maple Leafs Trade David Clarkson Contract for Injured Nathan Horton

Here are the core facts of the deal, and the contracts of the two players involved:

  • Nathan Horton signed a 7-year, $37.1 million deal in July of 2013. The cap hit (if he plays) is $6 million per season through the 2017-2018 season. Horton has 412 points in 627 career games, and had two 62-point campaigns with Florida.
  • David Clarkson signed a seven-year, $36.75 million deal in the 2013 offseason, an almost identical contract to Horton’s but for two things: the bonus structure means it’s almost impossible to buy Clarkson out, and Clarkson has 196 points in 544 career games, with a single season in which he scored more than 32 points (2011-2012 with the Devils, in which he scored 46).
  • Horton will likely never play again, but his value to the Leafs is all about cap hit. The Leafs will pay his salary, but it will not count against the cap, as he will be on the long-term disabled list. Instead, they will have room to sign other players.
  • Clarkson will continue to play, but has done next to nothing for the Leafs and was seen as untradeable because of his enormous contract until…well, until the Blue Jackets decided to take him on. Clarkson has just 26 points in 118 games with the Leafs.

The trade is, in short, an enormous win for the Leafs, who can afford to pay the extra contract with their rabid fan base, but can now use the cap space to key other trades and assist in their rebuild.

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Written by Tom

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