Maple Leafs Sign Clarke MacArthur

Brian Burke has signed unrestricted free agent Clarke MacArthur to a one-year deal according to Alex Tran who saw it on LeafsTV. Good thing for us Jared also was watching LeafsTV and can confirm it. Also, Nick Kypreos is the first to confirm it on Twitter that I saw. You can guess which one of the three I trust the most. [Update: here is the official press release from the team.] The deal is for one year at $1.1M so it is a pretty low-risk move for the team.

From the press release:

 In 81 games between Buffalo and Atlanta, he registered a career-high 35 points with 16 goals and 19 assists. In 2008-09, he scored a career-best 17 goals while playing in 71 games for the Sabres. The 6-0, 191-pound forward has played in 208 career NHL games with Atlanta and Buffalo collecting 44 goals and 44 assists for 88 points along with 129 minutes in penalties.

MacArthur is probably best known for his part in one of the weirdest arbitration awards ever. James Mirtle took a look at Atlanta's unique approach to the process:

The two sides had failed to make progress in negotiations leading up to the July 21 hearing, and Atlanta’s recent acquisition of Andrew Ladd had, in management’s mind, made MacArthur expendable.

When it came time to meet with an arbitrator, the Thrashers simply asked for the award to be presented immediately, based on the player’s demands, so they could then walk away from the contract.

That’s how a third-line forward who had 35 points landed a $2.4-million (all currency U.S.) award, one the hockey world has been puzzling over ever since.

The other interesting part is that as was noted in the comments to the Lashoff fanshot by Polecon and in the post on the trade, this deal was made possible by Burke's trade which opened up an SPC slot. I'll have more from those that knew MacArthur best as the day goes along.

Die By The Blade's season ending wrap up shines a light on how Sabres fans viewed MacArthur:

Thumbs Up: For the second consecutive season he did just enough offensively to make people feel he had potential. He scored 17 goals in 2008-2009 and he finished with 16 goals this season between Buffalo and Atlanta. He seemed to become a more physical player this season as well. I don't think of him as a gritty player like Adam Mair or Paul Gaustad but he seemed more comfortable in the corners and won a few more battles this season.

Falconer18 of Birdwatchers Anonymous had a short view of MacArthur and was less than impressed:

MacArthur is a classic tweener. I'd call him Erik Christensen II: a talent tease who shows flashers of skill, but not enough skill to play top six and not enough physical presence to earn big 3rd line minutes. Future star in Swiss League.

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