Kyle Clifford has enjoyed his time with the Toronto Maple Leafs so far and it looks like there could be mutual interest in him returning next season.
Getting Jack Campbell from the Los Angeles Kings provided the Toronto Maple Leafs a necessary upgrade behind Frederik Andersen, having Kyle Clifford as part of the deal brought a much-needed presence to the lineup.
While 16 games are hardly enough of a sample size to say whether the trade worked out for the Leafs with the season on hold, the team is reportedly looking to keep Clifford beyond this season. According to Terry Koshan of the Toronto Sun, the Leafs have had some dialogue with the veteran’s representation to gauge the chances of getting a deal done.
"“Kyle has really liked it and enjoyed it so far,” Clifford’s agent, Todd Reynolds, told the Toronto Sun. “It’s something we would be interested in and it’s something that the Leafs are interested in.”"
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General manager Kyle Dubas has taken criticism for not making it a point to add some toughness to the team but it’s clear that Clifford was a target for a while. People should also look at the signing of Jason Spezza as Dubas’ way to show that he does believe in the intangibles these veterans provide.
This is why it shouldn’t come as a surprise that the Leafs are looking to bring the 29-year-old back considering his age and probably won’t command a lot given his role as a bottom-six winger.
What becomes an obvious issue is trying to determine what the Leafs will have available to spend in free agency considering there is no telling what will happen with the salary cap. It would be hard to see it go down but if it doesn’t have the increase the NHL projected earlier this month, there could be a problem.
Now, this might not be a problem trying to sign Clifford but the Leafs don’t exactly have a lot of room to work with either. Some might not even think that bringing back Clifford would make sense but the Leafs don’t have a player in the system that brings what he can.
Do you think the Leafs should try to re-sign Clifford? What would you consider paying him? Let us know in the comments below.