Throwback Thursday: This week in 1996, Toronto Maple Leafs bring home Wendel Clark

Welcome back to another edition of Throwback Thursday! 

On this week in 1996 (March 13), the Toronto Maple Leafs acquired Wendel Clark from the New York Islanders.

Along with him, the Leafs brought in Mathieu Schneider and D.J. Smith, while the Leafs shipped out Sean Haggerty, Darby Hendrickson, Kenny Jonsson and a 1997 1st round pick (Roberto Luongo).

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It wasn’t the only trade the Leafs made that day, as they shipped Dave Andreychuk to the New Jersey Devils for a 1996 2nd round pick.

The Clark trade is the latest move by (Leafs GM Cliff) Fletcher to jump-start the sluggish Leafs, who have been mired in a slump since the all-star break. The Leafs (26-31-11) and 1-8-1 in their last 10 games, 4-17-4 since Jan. 10.

Toronto has already traded for Kirk Muller, Dave Gagner, Nick Kypreos and Wayne Presley, and fired coach Pat Burns in a bid to shake up the team. 

In Clark’s first game back with the Leafs, he scored the opening goal and assist on the team’s second in a 3-0 shutout win over the Dallas Stars.

Clark’s return came after he spent parts of two seasons with the Quebec Nordiques and the New York Islanders, and saw him come back for parts of three seasons. Between 1995 and 1998, Clark scored 83 points in 125 games with the Leafs.

In ’98, Clark left via free agency to join the Tampa Bay Lightning, before ultimately returning for a final season in 1999-2000 before he retired.

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