Clarkson (back) was traded to the Vegas Golden Knights on Wednesday, TSN's Bob McKenzie reports. What has been speculated for many days is now official. As a reward for taking on Clarkson's $5.25 million cap hit for the next three seasons, Vegas is receiving the Jackets' first-round pick in Friday's draft and a second-round pick in 2019. As for Clarkson, a back injury may very well have ended his NHL career. He last played on March 11, 2016.
The Blue Jackets have a deal in place with the Golden Knights to ensure that a very specific list of Columbus players are exempt from the expansion draft, but this agreement may also be contingent on the Vegas club acquiring Clarkson (back) and his $5.25 million annual cap hit, The Columbus Dispatch reports. Blue Jackets GM Jarmo Kekalainen reportedly is willing to trade Vegas the 24th overall pick in this year's draft and a prospect not named Pierre-Luc Dubois or Sonny Milano in order to protect Josh Anderson, Jack Johnson, David Savard and goalie Joonas Korpisalo from being taken in the expansion draft. The Columbus Dispatch reported this past February that Clarkson's career may be over due to his having three degenerative discs in his spine, so trimming the fat on his contract would be ideal for the breakout club of 2016-17.
Clarkson's back will likely never allow him to play hockey again, The Columbus Dispatch reports. It's been over 11 months since he saw any game action, and a few weeks ago his back was so stiff he couldn't even get out of bed in the morning. Clarkson is dealing with three degenerative discs in his spine, and the only surgical remedy -- having his spine fused -- would completely end any possibility of a comeback. His contract runs through the 2019-20 season but is mostly covered by insurance, so expect the 32-year-old to essentially remain a permanent resident on the Blue Jackets' long-term injury list, barring a miraculous recovery.
Clarkson (back) isn't in the lineup for Wednesday's matchup with the Ducks. Clarkson was taken off the long-term injured reserve last week but will now fail to crack the lineup for a third consecutive game since then. There's still no timetable for his return, but those interest in his availability can expect an update on his status once he's ready to return to the Blue Jackets' lineup.
Clarkson (back) has been taken off long-term injured reserve, per the NHL's official media site. Clarkson's removal from LTIR suggests that he's moving closer to game action. However, the Blue Jackets do not play again until Friday, so it will be worth monitoring his status ahead of that home contest versus the visiting Canadiens.
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