Devils Unlikely to Re-Sign David Clarkson

One of the biggest names that could hit the free-agent market when it officially opens on July 5th is presumably one step closer to doing so.

According to the FourthPeriod.com, multiple sources who remain anonymous report that New Jersey Devils forward David Clarkson is unlikely to re-sign with the club before the frenzy begins.  They also state that it’s unclear if the Devils will be able to agree to a new contract with Clarkson once the madness opens on the fifth of July.

Several teams are likely to show interest in Clarkson given his rugged style of play that includes dropping the mitts while still being a consistent offensive contribution.  The Edmonton Oilers are one of those teams that are in desperate need of a David Clarksontype player and should pursue him if given the chance.

Given the need that many teams have for Clarkson’s ability, the 29-year old is said to potentially seek an annul payment well over $5 million per season.  Landing a multi-year deal on top of that won’t be a problem given his age and the potential bidding war that could unfold for his services.

TFP.com reports that the Devils may not be able to afford Clarkson despite the forward’s known desire to stay in the New Jersey organization.  The article states that Devils’ owner Jeff Vanderbeek is in “significant debt” and could force the team’s hand in having to scale back their payroll. Interestingly enough, TFP reports that Vanderbeek is in talks with Calgary billionaire Bill Gallacher to explore the idea of purchasing the Devils.  A new bank roll could mean a new deal for Clarkson that keeps him in Devils’ colors for the foreseeable future.

If Clarkson does become available on July 5th it’s unclear at this time whether the Oilers would be willing to dish out a massive contract that could exceed $25 million over 4-5 years.  Two year’s ago he set career highs with 30 goals and 46 points in 80 games with the Devils.  He also accumulated 138 penalty minutes.

In the lockout shortened 2013 season he scored 15 goals and 24 points in 48 games, roughly the same pace as the year prior.  He also racked up 78 PiMs. Tell me this guy wouldn’t look good among the top six Oilers’ forwards? In short, he is exactly what the Oilers need.

The Devils want Clarkson back, that much is obvious.  But whether or not they’ll be able to afford him is another story.  That would then beg the question if the Oilers should get involved in the bidding for Clarkson if in fact  he’s open to the highest bidder in early July.

What are your thoughts?  Should the Oilers pursue David Clarkson if he’s available? Leave us your comments and let’s discuss.

For more news and analysis on the Edmonton Oilers, follow us on Twitter @OilonWhyte.

Topics: David Clarkson, Edmonton Oilers, New Jersey Devils

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  • Seth Levin

    That report on Vanderbeek hurting financially is completely false, not to mention that report was out there about a year ago (and was refuted then)

  • Steve R

    Clarkson is highly overrated. DeBoer, his former minor league coach, gets the most out of him. 10 of his 15 goals came in the first 10 or so games. He was pretty much a bust for the rest of the season. He’s also a hothead taking dumb penalties. Any team paying him $5 million will be sorely disappointed. Devils have many more important signings before Clarkson.

    • Derek Stykalo

      Thanks for the insight Steve. Clarkson is the gritty type of player the Oilers are missing though and with Eakins running the bench now it’ll be a no BS show in Edmonton meaning Clarkson’s stupid penalties wouldn’t be very popular. Maybe it’s wishful thinking on my part. I don’t think he’s worth $5 million but he’ll get it given the shallow pool of UFA’s.

      • Steve R

        He’s very undisciplined and can’t stop his chatter. I had high hopes for him at the beginning of the season. He picked up a lot of rebound goals, but it didn’t continue. He’s not very skilled. His attempts in shoot outs were awful. He’s got one move. You can have him.