Why the Leafs Really Traded for David Clarkson

Now that the dust has settled, we can step back and take a look at the entire landscape surrounding the Clarkson trade 2.0. Let’s take a look at why the trade makes sense for both teams, and what impact it will have moving forward.
Why it makes sense for the Golden Knights
One look at Vegas’ cap situation gives us a pretty good understanding as to why they need to free up cap space. With 22 players on their roster, VGK has just over $1 million left to sign a 14th forward.
In most circumstances, that would be plenty, however, that 14th forward is Restricted Free Agent, Nikita Gusev. Gusev has not played a single NHL game. And yet, his incredible production in the KHL means he has the leverage of returning to Russia for a big payday – where he is reportedly asking for $4 million on a two-year deal, while the Knights are offering $2 million.
So how does trading David Clarkson help the Golden Knights sign Gusev? He was going to be placed on Long Term Injured Reserve, and his cap hit would flutter off the books, right? Wrong.
While Vegas would have likely utilized “Prior to Opening Day” LTIR [CBA Article 50.10( …

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Author: Earl Schwartz / The Leafs Nation

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