David Clarkson returns to Leafs lineup tonight against the Columbus Blue Jackets

When the Leafs signed power forward David Clarkson as an unrestricted free agent on July 5th, 2013, it was a sign that the Blue & White were building a tougher team to play against. General manager Dave Nonis’ vision came to fruition right away. In a preseason game against the Buffalo Sabres, the Leafs winning on the scoreboard, recently ostracized Sabres’ forward John Scott attempted to fight Buds’ winger Phil Kessel. The threat caused all four Leafs on the ice to jump Scott, but that wasn’t enough for Toronto’s new enforcer of justice and order. Clarkson hopped the bench and went after Scott himself. The result, a line brawl that was more hilarious than scary, and a 10-game suspension for Clarkson.

This evening in Columbus the Leafs play their eleventh game of the season, welcoming David Clarkson into his first contest as a Maple Leaf.

Clarkson is a Toronto boy. He grew up on Dougie and Wendel and Felix. His dream to wear the Maple Leaf is deep routed since his childhood on Toronto’s west side. Clarkson told the Globe and Mail, “at the end of the day, in my heart this is where I wanted to be.” He continued, “I wanted to be here. I’m excited to start my journey with the Toronto Maple Leafs.” Read the full Globe & Mail article entitled “Toronto Maple Leafs’ David Clarkson excited to begin journey with hometown team: ‘You can’t beat it.

The Leafs are 7-3-0 through ten games of action. They sit tied with the Boston Bruins for 1st place in the Atlantic Division, however, their lead is not safe by any stretch. Only the top three are guaranteed a playoff spot, and at the moment, the Atlantic’s best teams are all winning. Four points separate first place to sixth place in the league’s most competitive division.

Clarksons’ return could not have come at a better time. Leafs winger Joffrey Lupul injured his foot in practice yesterday and his day-to-day.