David Clarkson can’t believe it and neither can I.
It’s been a tough month in Leafland, with the Leafs losing 11 in a row and just being inept at everything. Horachek has been a bust of a coach, Kessel has disappeared as predicted, and Bernier has had his first real flutter in an otherwise flawless Leafs career.
But none of that is as bad, misguided, and – most importantly – classless, as scratching David Clarkson.
Can somebody explain to me why Peter Horachek scratched him of all players? All he’s done is contribute since he was signed – whether through fighting, hitting, or just being a presence in general. Clarkson is literally always there when he’s supposed to be and even when he’s not scoring he’s still there on the ice. That is the definition of “presence”. Look it up.
Do you think The Hockey News would just put him on the cover of their magazine to appeal to the Leafs masses without there being a good reason for doing so?
Does anyone else literally bleed blue? No.
Why, after this slump, was Phil “I Can’t Score Goals Anymore” Kessel not scratched? What about James Van Riemsdyk? Nazem “When the Going Gets Tough, I Pack My Bags and Leave” Kadri? These are the players you need to sit. The guys that don’t try. Instead, Horachek tries to “send a message” by sitting the most honest player on the team.
This management team just doesn’t get it.
See, this is the kind of guy you need in the locker room. Someone who doesn’t care about the media, the questions they ask, and won’t let them get in the way of holding his teammates accountable. That’s all Nonis and co have talked about for years – accountability. And that’s why the Leafs are paying him $37 million dollars – not to score goals (those kind of guys are easy to find), but to be a leader and presence in the locker room (a rare skill that few possess).
And sure, you can say that blaming management for a “coach’s decision” is wrong, but hey that management team promoted that coach. And don’t try to tell me that Kyle Wunderkind Dubas didn’t use his math to confuse and bewilder Horachek into scratching Clarkson. Because it happened.
I can’t wait for this season to be over – not so the Leafs can get a high draft pick, but so Brendan Shanahan (who was also a tough as nails leader type, like Clarkson), can clean house of management and Horachek.
Stop the bleeding. Unless the blood is blue.