Thearon W. Henderson/Getty Images
While it was never made official, it never seemed like David Clarkson was coming back to New Jersey after failing to reach an agreement before the draft,
Clarkson, 29, scored 45 goals in the past one-and-a-half seasons, and that performance paid off this offseason as he signed a seven-year contract with the Maple Leafs worth $36.75 million.
Needing a gritty replacement to replace a fan favorite, Lamoriello went out and signed Ryane Clowe, a former Ranger who was acquired by New York at the deadline from San Jose.
Clowe, 30, had undoubtedly the worst season of his eight-year career in 2012-2013, scoring just three goals and recording 19 points for the Rangers and Sharks. He did, however, score all of his goals in an eight-game span after being traded to New York.
I don't think fans approve of giving an injury-prone forward $24.25 million over five years, but it also may have something to do with playing favorites.
Devils fans love David Clarkson. He did wonderful things for the Hockey in Newark program and the surrounding areas and will be missed by everyone in the organization.
That being said, fans have to learn to let go.
The Hockey Guys' Todd Cordell made a very good point on Twitter today.
The Devils are getting 91 more points for LESS money than Toronto paid for Clarkson, and they are going to get much more consistency if he plays up to his full potential.
Clowe has reached 45 points in a season four times in his career. Clarkson? Once.
Clowe is a reported "injury concern," and that made other teams hesitant to give him a long-term contract. Besides last season's train wreck of a year, Clowe has only gone one year in which he didn't play at least 70 games (2007-08).
Clowe is also a bigger body on the third line compared to Clarkson, coming in at least 25 pounds heavier. New Jersey is losing a gritty third-line forward and replacing him with a gritty third-line forward with more offensive potential.
Point goes to Lou.