TORONTO - The Maple Leafs have traded winger David Clarkson to the Columbus Blue Jackets in exchange for injured forward Nathan Horton.
Clarkson's US$36.75-million, seven-year contract was considered an umovable albatross with five seasons left on it after this one.
Horton, who has five years left on a $37-million, seven-year deal, has been out with back problems and could be on long-term injured reserve, saving the Leafs some salary-cap space.
Clarkson was a healthy scratch for two straight games earlier this month for Toronto and has 10 goals and five assists in 58 games.
The Leafs signed him July 5, 2013, the same day the Blue Jackets signed Horton.
"David Clarkson has been a 30-goal scorer in the NHL who will bring added character and leadership to our group and we believe he will be a valuable contributor to our team," Blue Jackets general manager Jarmo Kekalainen said in a statement. "While we are excited to welcome David to the Blue Jackets, it is also difficult that Nathan's time here has ended prematurely due to his injury situation. He is a tremendous person and we wish him and his family all the best in the future."
Horton was limited to just 36 games in 2013-14 and has not played this season.