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.
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