— Frank Seravalli (@frank_seravalli) October 10, 2020
Blues Sign Kyle Clifford
Clifford, 29, spent the 2019–20 as a member of both the Los Angeles Kings and Toronto Maple Leafs, arriving in Toronto with goalie Jack Campbell in a trade deadline deal. Prior to joining the Leafs, Clifford spent his first 10 NHL seasons with the Kings. Clifford played 660 games with Los Angeles, winning Stanley Cups in 2012 and 2014.
In those 660 games, Clifford has 60 goals, 69 assists, 819 penalty minutes, and 1,449 hits. The Kings drafted Clifford 35th overall in the second round of the NHL draft. He came in with a reputation as a physical presence. Clifford then played an enforcer role right from his early NHL days, posting over 80 penalty minutes in six of his 10 seasons.
As a rental for the Leafs last season, Clifford managed three points in 16 regular-season games. He had zero points in five postseason games. Toronto brought in Clifford as a bottom-six role player, something he’s excelled in for over a decade with a career 53.1 Corsi for.
What This Means for the Future
In Clifford, the Blues are getting a bottom-six forward who can kill penalties and throw his body around. Clifford brings valuable experience, serving as a key depth player during the Kings’ playoff runs from this past decade. Although he’s played over 600 games and has taken his fair share of bruises, Clifford is still a serviceable player for a team looking to add some grit.
This past off-season the Tampa Bay Lightning signed a Clifford-like player in Patrick Maroon and went on to win a Stanley Cup, proving there is still a place for the Cliffords and Maroons in this day and age of the NHL. Clifford’s registered double-digit goals in a season just once, but he knows his role and does anything to help his team out.