The Los Angeles Kings have made it clear over the last few seasons that they’re willing to part with some of their veteran names and Tyler Toffoli is the latest to be involved in trade rumors as he nears the end of his current contract. Not so fast for another pending free agent however, as Elliotte Friedman of Sportsnet writes in his latest 31 Thoughts column. The Kings will make teams “work” to convince them to trade Kyle Clifford, who has become an integral part of the leadership group in Los Angeles.
Clifford, 28, has never been relied upon to put the puck in the net much, but did record his best offensive season in 2018-19 with 11 goals and 21 points. He carries a $1.6MM cap hit through the end of this season and will be an unrestricted free agent without a new deal. Over 621 regular season games, Clifford has recorded 1,375 hits.
- The Ottawa Senators haven’t really used the KHL as an avenue of acquiring organizational talent in the past, but Friedman notes that is changing. Notably, the team now has a substantial Russian contingent on the NHL team with Artem Anisimov, Vladislav Namestnikov and Nikita Zaitsev, a group that could potentially help a KHL player get acclimated to life in North America.
- After seven games without their new captain, the Toronto Maple Leafs will have John Tavares back in the lineup tonight when they take on the Los Angeles Kings. The $11MM center will be reunited with linemate Mitch Marner, though Zach Hyman remains out for now as he continues to recover from major knee surgery.