The Toronto Maple Leafs have thrown their helmet into an extraordinary day in the NHL by re-signing Tyler Bozak and adding free agent David Clarkson.
Bozak signed a five-year contract worth $21 million, and Clarkson who this week rejected a deal to stay with the New Jersey Devils, signed to a seven-year, $36.75 million deal.
Clarkson, 29, scored 15 goals and 24 points in 46 games in 2012-13. He scored a career-high 30 goals in 2011-12. Bozak, 27, had 28 points in 46 games.
There was also a departure, as forward Clark MacArthur signed with the Ottawa Senators.
Toronto now have two players, Bozak and Nazem Kadri, who could conceivably battle for the coveted No. 1 center spot. Dave Bolland will likely slot into the number 3 center role.
The Leafs bought out center Mikhail Grabovski yesterday, a move clearly intended to free up the cap space for today’s moves. Ditching Grabovski and bringing in Clarkson is a clear illustration of head coach Randy Carlyle’s intentions to develop the Leafs into a hard-nosed, north-south hockey club.