MLHS Player Reviews is doing their best to round out the Leafs top six (hint-hint, Dave) by profiling alternate captain, left winger and pending UFA, Clarke MacArthur. In his third season with the Maple Leafs, the Lloydminster, Alberta native tallied eight goals and 12 assists en route to 20 points in 40 games played. Yet his season, like so many Leafs, was tumultuous, and his future in Toronto is unclear.
Mostly used as a second line or ‘1A’ winger since arriving in Toronto, MacArthur was bumped up and down through the lineup this season, skating on an offense-minded third line with Nazem Kadri and Nikolai Kulemin or Colton Orr, or a two-way third line with Mikhail Grabovski and Matt Frattin (or, sadly, Colton Orr).
MacArthur’s play style can be hard to define, as he possesses a lot of tools but no truly dominant one. While both creative with the puck and fairly sturdy along the boards, I wouldn’t typify his game as purely skill based or rugged. He has a great first step and good speed, and a deceptively accurate wrist and slap shot (career 13.9% shooting is nothing to sniff at). When he’s on his game, he’s first in on the forecheck, and finds a way to separate himself from the opposition in front of the net.
He rounds out his offensive game with laudable passing skills, the vision to find an open, attacking player, and the numbers to back it up. Interestingly enough, MacArthur was the best Leaf player at driving the puck towards the opposition’s net, evidenced by his team leading Corsi score (yes, of -3.93, but seriously this team was outshot handily all season). His relative Corsi score of 16.2 was the highest on the team, further evidence to both his possession game and ability to contribute offense in less noticeable ways.
Yet one of MacArthur’s biggest knocks is that he’s inconsistent offensively; and his critics point to his declining box stats since his 62-point debut in 2010-11. But a lot of the numbers simply don’t bear it out. While hardly earthshattering, his 20 points was 6th best among Leaf forwards; as was his .50 points per game average. Acceptable – if unspectacular – numbers from a second line winger.
In truth, MacArthur’s offensive prowess extends well beyond this season. In the 195 games that MacArthur has played in Toronto he’s produced at a notable .64 point per game pace. MacArthur’s 125 points tie him for the second most (with Grabovski) among Leafs in the past three seasons.
The most proximate cause of MacArthur’s purported offensive woes this season appear to stem from his usage and time on ice. In 2013, MacArthur played just under 15 minutes a night and was featured on the second power play unit where he received a meagre 1:38 of ice-time a game. He saw 17 minutes a night, three on the powerplay, in his heroic 2010-11 season and scored 19 points (roughly 1/3 of his total) on the man advantage. He also averaged 2 shots per game in his first two seasons in Toronto and only 1.5 this one. He had less time and fewer opportunities to succeed this season than in seasons past, and his offense receded because of it. Even in a reduced role he’s a 40-point guy, and clearly capable of more.
Though it must be said he has faults. Though scoring can be fairly random and luck driven on a game-to-game basis, if MacArthur isn’t scoring, he’s not always providing much value to on-ice product. While no slouch in his own zone, he doesn’t have the defensive acumen and reliability to make him an ideal hybrid winger. His competition numbers suggest that he was lining up against third liners, not top offensive guys. It is easier to drive play against a weaker opponent than yourself.
And while not particularly a knock on his game per se, he doesn’t seem to be on the right side of Randy Carlyle. The 2012-13 season provided clear evidence that Carlyle has and plays his favourites; and MacArthur was not of them. He was benched during the regular season; and in Games 2 and 3 of the playoffs before returning to the lineup and tallying goals in back to back games. Even with the clutch production, MacArthur still saw his ice time drop by almost two-and-a-half minutes in post season.
Should GM Dave Nonis choose to go in another direction and not re-sign Clarke MacArthur, it could come down to some simple numbers games. The Leafs already have a capable flight of scoring wingers signed in Phil Kessel, Joffrey Lupul, James van Riemsdyk, Nik Kulemin and Matt Frattin. The salary cap is falling and while the Leafs have a bevy of cap space right now, it will quickly be eaten up by more prominent Leafs like Nazem Kadri, Cody Franson and Carl Gunnarsson. With free agency fast approaching, the team’s needs are defense-minded defensemen and effective checkers to fill out the bottom half of the forward ranks.
That only leaves so many dollars, and so many spots, and it could spell an abrupt end to the mercurial tenure of one of the best Leaf scorers in the Burke era.
Plays of the Year:
Without a doubt, the biggest goal Clarke MacArthur has ever scored in a blue and white jersey. MacArthur kicks an errant puck forward to himself, blows past the flat-footed Bruins defender and cuts sharply to the inside to tuck a backhander past Tuukka Rask in Game 5. The goal stood up as the eventual winner, and showcases the speed and cerebral play that hallmarks Clarke’s play.
What’s so impressive about this play from MacArthur might not be readily noticeable, but he does a bunch of great things that lead to this goal. He harasses the Flyers’ D, leading to a turnover then heads to the front of the net. MacArthur then provides a screen in front of a shot, and then circles the Flyers to create space for himself and lose his checker. Only after outplaying the five Flyers skaters was Clarke ready to outclass Bryzgalov on this goal.
He’s a magic man, with magic hands. MacArthur slips to the front of the net then quickly and deftly tucks the puck through Johan Hedberg’s wickets.
RATE THIS PLAYER: Out of 10, rate Clarke MacArthur’s season relative to his role, opportunity/usage and the expectations for the player entering the season. Be sure to back it up.
IT's off topic but what about Zidlicky for a short term partner for Phaneuf? He has decent production, last year 19 pts in 48 about the same when he was in Klando. Eats lots of minutes too, don't know too much about his game though, he played 21 minutes last year, is 36 made 4 mil. Or someone like this. Suggestions?
Just wanted to weigh in on the TB rumors. I think i got most of the story straight. I would only do the deal if we are not giving up anything too significant. No to Gardiner and no to trading our 1st round pick this year. I would love to have Drouin and McKinnon would be great too. I think either of them would work great for the Leafs. Either way i think we would come out looking very good.
Worst of the storms have moved on over the big lakes and headed to the States
Uncle Otis' Weather Watch is now over and we return you to your regular hockey programming :)
With Bettman bent on and American city/Seattle getting the Phoenix mess,I wonder why NHL doesn't consider a spot like Wisconsin.
I know they don't have the population base,but how well did that work out in the desert?
Rabid hockey fans and they would support the hell out of the team I bet
If Uncle Otis is still here: I am hot for the Mio Sport girl though...she's got the librarian look down Hahaha....
Hey guys...serious Tornado warning down London way...saying take shelter immediately /one is immenent
Time to get a new article up soon, no? I need some Leafs related stuff to quell the CBC shit that we had to put up with last night. On top of that the A/V quality for HNIC was bush league.
Justin Rose wins US Open, America's Gomer Pile of golf with another second :)
Happy Fathers Day all you mofos
I like the idea of Wesis as our 1C between Kessel & JvR. I think he needs desperately a change of scenario, it did wonders for Horton and there is nothing wrong with a player WHO wants to play here.
I was thinking/hoping that with the Wesis (if) signing, Leaf would trade Grabo to Calgary for their 22nd pick, lowest pick (6th) is too much and (28th) too low. From all of the talks that Calgary wants a quick rebuild they might bite.
Leaving Wesis - Kadri - Colborne - MacClement down the middle.
I'm kind of skeptical with the 3rd line C though, I know Colborne has skill but he is super inconsistent from the Marlie games I have watched. I personally wouldn't mind a Colborne for Shawn Matthias plus trade to shore up the C position. Matthias is one of those players I believe is coming into his own and is 2 years older than Joe, plus Shawn is a few years of NHL experience and has played shut down minutes on a garbage team.
As many of you have pointed out, the Maple Leafs are also the only team to beat the Bruins in regulation in the playoffs...did that 3 times
The Maple Leafs are the only team to beat the Bruins in Boston during the playoffs......did it twice.
Hey guys, long time no talk!
Im hearing a Vanek to Capitals rumor after post season, and it makes sense to me.
Also, that Buffalo trade would be huge
Anybody down for this? Thats a tough forward group to play against. Especially that 3rd line. McClement/Gordon, Bolland/Kulemin, would probably be top PK in the league as well, and PS: Bolland is a stud in the shootout, same with Weiss.
Ok, I haven't seen much of Weiss. So avoiding any like or dislike any debate on whether to sign him or not, what kind of player would I see if he was healthy and playing as well as he has in the past and all goes well?
So weird to have a 22 year old center who just scored at a pont a game and we are still dying for that big canadian center. I say go all out for Letang, fill out the rest of the roster internally.
I still believe that the best strategy is to "buy" to high picks via buy-outs. If Leiweke has committed the cash Nonis only has to get the best package possible.
I'm out of here. Got yard work to look into. Happy Father's Day to all those it applies to, and enjoy your Sunday to everyone else.
bozak in a perfect world would make the same as stajan.. similar players... bozie is obviously superior though.... 3.5 ... bozie agent is a super agrent.. he sticks to a number and doesnt budge... hes given many a gm headaches over the yrs.. newport sports i believe
Does anyone think Weiss signs for 3M?? i mean he was injured for most of the season last year and if Bozak wants 5+ i would rather have weiss.
IF we lose bozak we could just make kadri our 1c grabo our 2 and sign Boyd Gordon to be 3C or McClement be 3C.
I don't trust Carlyle to be smart. Hopefully Nonis lets Bozak walk, forcing Randy to use Grabo and Naz as the team's top-2 scoring centers. I really don't want Weiss brought in.
However, if the Leafs are dead-set on signing Weiss, swapping Bozak's rights for his makes sense, because it could save us some money to get Weiss signed before any other teams can talk to him.
i would still rather bozie at 4.25 or 4.5 then grabo.. nothing against grabo.. but he isnt really a passer and i just dont seem him as a center on our team that lacks playmaking... bozie and kadri are really the only guys up front who can make plays
Tiger Woods is 13 over with 9 holes to play in the US Open, WTF are all the pointy heads going to talk about now.
I think I've warmed up to the idea of signing Weiss. He's a better offensive player then he stats would indicate. He is a good player but he hasn't really had anyone of real quality to play with, especially recently.
Weiss, Kadri, Grabo, Colborne, McClement would give us decent depth down the middle.
McClement can play wing 5on5 but can move to centre when he's killing penalties.
JVR. Weiss. Kessel
Lupul. Kadri. Clarkson
Kuli. Grabo. Frattin.
McCl. Colbo. Orr
Pretty damn solid if you ask me.
Interesting how Boston has put its team together. Screw the first round picks. Grab everyone elses prospects and use your third rounders.
Chara (Islanders) 56th pick
Seidenberg (Flyers) 172nd pick
Lucic (Boston) 50th pick
Ference (Penguins) 208th pick
Bergeron (Boston) 45th pick
Krejci (Boston) 63rd pick
Campbell (Panthers) 67th pick
Sodenberg (Blues) 49th pick
Kelly (Senators) 94th pick
Marchand (Boston) 71st pick
Pialle (Sabres) 20th pick
Horton (Panthers) 3rd pick
Thornton (Leafs 190th pick
Seguin (Boston) 2nd pick
Daugavins (Boston) 91st pick
Bartkowski (Panthers) 190th pick
Boychuck (Avalance) 61st pick
Hamilton (Boston) 9th pick
McQuaid (Jackets) 56th pick
Rask (Leafs) 21st pick
I think many people don't see some of the pros to resigning Bozak. Imagine how bad it would have been two years ago when Connolly didn't work out if we didn't have Bozak back. If we are to trade to get any of these options available (Weiss, Filpulla, Statsny, etc.) we just don't know how they will work on the first line. If they turn out to be similar to Connolly's experiment, I'd rather have a fall-back plan of Bozak. That, to me, would be unquestionably worth 4 mil for a couple years. Having a very solid number 3 center (or #2, depending on the Grabo outcome) who has proven that he could fill-in on the number 1 line in the case of injury or poor play sounds good to me. He's also proven that he kills penalties (albeit with McClement, so it would be much easier) fairly effectively. If you ask me, we would have been able to finish off the Bruins if we hadn't had to depend on McClement's faceoffs but I won't go into that.
We know Bozak isn't going to get worse. We don't know that he will get better either, but I'd say its definitely up in the air whether or not he keeps improving. It seems to me that he's shown this whole way that he develops slower than most players. I'd rather know what I have than go into the season with a question mark on 1C. I would be very afraid if we let Bozak walk and tried to play only with our centers in the system.
I wonder if the Weiss talk means they might also be trying to lure his old winger Horton to Toronto as well.
We better hurry up and make some moves. Our aging roster is seeing their prime window closing. So old.
I really hope we don't make any major adds (ala Clarkson) to our Fs other than a couple 3rd/4th line guys like Torres, Gordon, Lapierre, etc. , while resigning Mac and telling Bozak to GTFO. I hope Nonis is smart enough to realize that D is what we need, not an overpaid Clarkson.
my 8 year old just came down and asked if we could have kraft dinner for fathers day lunch ........sheeesh ...
i said ..
fuckin right !!!!!!
Just noticed this, are we seriously showing Doug Gilmour in another team's jersey for his avatar pic in the Top Ten Leafs sidebar? That is just so, so weak.
Ok here is our Roster next year :)
mornin leaf daddys ..... hoping all the dads get what they really want today ....
some peace and quiet , and a blowjob !!!!
my thought for the day ...
if leafs were to sign weiss or re-sign bozak , id be worried that they would just be paying them to be 2nd center as kadri is gonna take that spot outright sooner or later , then it could be worse than the grabbo situation right now ?????
Toronto should take Pittsburghs' lead and sign Kessel right now to a 5 year, 35-40 million dollar deal because the cap will go up after this season...smart move by Shero
Sure is a lot of high priced veteran UFA's looking to land somewhere, gonna be interesting to see how they fit into team cap spaces...