Right-winger David Clarkson signs new multi-year deal with Devils

NEWARK, N.J. – Right-winger David Clarkson signed a US$8-million, three-year contract with the New Jersey Devils on Wednesday, just two days after the team gave the feisty forward a qualifying offer that prevented him from becoming an unrestricted free agent.

The 26-year-old Clarkson had 11 goals and 13 assists in only 46 games last season. He missed a large portion of the season because of a broken right leg.

“David has become one of our core players, and we are delighted to have him under a multi-year contract,” Devils president and general manager Lou Lamoriello said.

New Jersey also placed veteran Jay Pandolfo, one of their last remaining Stanley Cup winners, and fellow forward Andrew Peters on waivers.

If Pandolfo is not claimed, the team can buy out the last year of his $2.5-million contract for roughly $1.67 million.

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The 35-year-old Pandolfo was with the Devils for part of the 1996-97 and 97-98 seasons before joining them full-time the following season. He played on Stanley Cup-winning teams in 2000 and 2003.

Peters is in the final year of a two-year contract that would pay him $500,000 next season. His deal can be bought out for $333,333.

The Devils still haven’t signed defenceman Paul Martin or star forward Ilya Kovalchuk, who can become unrestricted free agents on Thursday. Both players are expected to draw major interest and lucrative contract offers.

Lamoriello said the Devils will continue to pursue Martin and Kovalchuk if they become free agents.

Defencemen Mike Mottau and Martin Skoula, backup goalie Yann Danis, and forwards Rob Niedermayer and Dean McAmmond are also eligible for free agency.