Without a doubt, much attention around the league will turn to David Clarkson, who is probably the newest “biggest name” potential unrestricted free agent on July 5th. He could join the likes of Alex Semin and Mike Ribeiro as the prizes of the free agent pool that has shriveled up remarkably with the removal of Perry and Ryan Getzlaf in recent weeks.
Clarkson is that power forward who can score goals, although he is very streaky (while some would call it inconsistent). He started out with 10 goals in his first 14 games and he was all the rage and would have got a huge deal at the time. Now, with 1 goal in his last 15 games, that talk has died down somewhat.
So while the rumours will no doubt turn to Clarkson as the top-6 winger the Senators need, I don’t see a fit. The only tie I can see at all with the Senators organization is that he played on the same team as Jason Spezza for a couple of months in Belleville as a junior, and he also played with Andre Benoit for three years in Kitchener, but those aren’t exactly the ties that bind.
Clarkson is from Toronto, so no doubt the Leafs machine will start that campaign sooner or later, and I just don’t see the day where Clarkson is a Senator.
With Perry not an option, I would think that the Sens will stick to building from within. If the Perry home run was available, you have to take it, but don’t think the team will feel they need to go for option B in free agency just because they missed on option A.